My very first speaking gig as a young editor, in front of 300 people in Texas, happened last minute as I filled in for a New York editor whose family understandably didn’t want her flying, being just weeks after the 9/11 horrors. I was nervous–this was the 1st speech I’d ever put together about editing and publishing and writers’ goals. When I was done at the podium, I took a seat in the audience … next to author Richard Peck. THE Richard Peck, at that time already beloved for his amazing stories for young people and his generous advising/inspiring of aspiring authors. When I dropped down into the seat next to him, he winked and said, “Ya did good.”
I hope I pass on to others that same feeling of relief and being supported, because I think of that moment often.
Today, we learn of Richard’s passing. What a loss… but what a joy to have his storytelling legacy, his books always at our fingertips and ready to move, inspire, and entertain new readers. If you haven’t read Richard’s books, do. Because I and countless young readers can tell you, he did good.