Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I'm a school principal and a writer. The problem, however, is that during the school year the role of principal ALWAYS trumps that of writer. So it was a genuine pleasure to visit Aubrey Elementary in Burnaby, British Columbia this afternoon as a guest author.

I took off my tie before driving over. Too principal-ish. Upon arrival, a student in the hallway asked, "Are you Gregory Walters?" Not Mr. Walters, but Gregory Walters. It made me smile. For one afternoon in a school building, I did not have to investigate who clogged the boys' toilet, I did not have to mediate a dispute between archrivals (best friends only a day earlier) and multitude of URGENT emails had to sit neglected next to SPAM.

I was grilled, but in a good way. "Who is your favorite author?" "Why did you have Tom throw worms?" "What's your favorite Gordon Korman book?" "Have you written anything else?" "What made you come up with the Richmond Racist?" "Why do they change things in movies that are based on books?" "Do you get rich as a writer?"

The grade 5, 6 and 7 students were inquisitive, respectful and informed. Hard to say, but maybe I inspired one audience member to read more or write more. What I know for certain is that they inspired me to get back to my writing.

Right after I deal with those emails...