Kate DiCamillo at Book Expo America

That Time I Cried in Front of Kate DiCamillo

Say it Rah-shay By Jun 02, 2014 8 Comments

Book Expo America has wrapped up and I am I excitedly waiting for my delivery of books and totes from the conference. During the show I had a chance to meet several authors (not so humble brag video below) but the author with whom I lost my stuff was Kate DiCamillo 1.

Backstory: The year The Bee was in fourth grade seemed the beginning of our “school sucks” narrative. I was working full time at the library and part time at my other gig. I had insane co-irkers, The Bee and I were trying to move from my mother’s and I was still secretly hoping that my marriage was not in fact ending but would be resurrected as promised in conversations with The Dad.

The Bee seemed to be doing OK with all but suddenly she seemed forgetful and just really defiant. She wasn’t doing her homework or would do the assignment but wouldn’t turn them in. The Bee’s teachers started reporting that she seemed troubled in school. The Bee was teary, weepy and was not eating. When the school asked what was going on, she would reply, “Nothing” and cry in the school yard. When I asked her what was going on, she would also say “Nothing,” yet she was having nightmares and unable to sleep.

I would ask The Dad what his observations or thoughts were and he would report that there were no problems that he could see. I cut back my hours at work, dropped any extras that didn’t involve The Bee and was planning on quitting the part time gig at the semester break when I learned that the relationship that I was hoping would thrive was no more: The Dad and his girlfriend were having a baby. What’s worst, he had told The Bee not to tell me and she was upset with having the secret.

After it all came out I went through a myriad of emotions. I was angry, I was hurt. I felt the fool. Ultimately I knew that I had to snap out of it; my little girl was hurting and there was no time for the pity party I was throwing myself. It was tough to be a decent mom and there were days I just didn’t have it. I felt like such a failure because my daughter suffered so, so much and I wasn’t able to fix myself enough to help her.

While all of this was going on, The Bee’s class was reading Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Desperaux and this was the only thing that seemed to get The Bee excited. She would talk about the princess, the farmer’s daughter and a mouse who wanted to be different. I had never read Desperaux but would listen when The Bee talked about destiny and wishes, eventually sharing her own wishes with me. Desperaux allowed for The Bee to talk about what was going on in her own way and it was this book which helped me know that we would get through it.

So when I had the opportunity to meet Kate Dicamillo last week, I planned to let her know that her book was special to my family and to thank her for her words. I waited on the line and chatted with other BEA attendees about minutiae. Suddenly, I felt myself getting a little weepy but dismissed the feeling. I was tired, maybe overwhelmed with the hustle of the conference and that emotional feeling was just my body begging for rest 2.

When I got up to the line I blurted, “I am going to make this weird.” Kate, had a bit of a shocked face but she laughed and said, “Ok. This should be good.” And this is when I burst into tears and told her how The Tale of Desperaux helped my daughter and I get through such a dark period. How Kate’s words were just what we needed to make things right and how much she helped me when I didn’t have words or thoughts of my own. I kept apologizing for crying but Kate waved that off, shook my hand, thanked me got letting her know my story. She then indulged me in an author selfie.

Kate DiCamillo at Book Expo America

Kate DiCamillo and me. You cannot tell by this picture but I was sobbing a few minutes before.

Kate signed her newest book with a special note for The Bee and that book means more to me than she will know. I know I seemed rude because I literally ran from the autographing area partly because I was embarrassed at my outburst and but also to call The Bee (who didn’t answer because she was in school…duh).

After quietly crying a few moments I thought about what happened. I have never known the intense emotion people experience regarding celebrities until that moment and I take back every word that I’ve ever uttered about people overreacting. Meeting the woman who was responsible for such a dramatic shift in my child’s life touched me more than I thought it would and I am so grateful for being able to have met her.



Want to see what the fuss is all about? Grab a copy of The Tale of Desperperax using my affiliate link:

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”0763617229″]


Not so humble brag author shots:

BEA was such a great time. I enjoyed the show, the authors and having an opportunity to thank a person who helped my family.


Want to see what the fuss is all about? Grab a copy of The Tale of Desperperax using my affiliate link:

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”0763617229″]


1. Well, Jonathan Maberry was there and of course I lost my stuff but that’s a given so that doesn’t really count. 

2. My sister and a fellow librarian dragged me to a place called Marie’s Crisis Cafe the night before and I think I hadn’t quite recovered. 


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Thien-Kim says:

    I don’t think it’s weird at all. Books can change lives. That’s why we keep reading.

  2. I do not think you overreacted. Sometimes we move forward with the hard things in our lives behind us and we can be right back there with the memory. Meeting the author was a trigger for you. I’m happy that you had that experience what the author, so many of them never get to hear how their words got us through a hard time. Thank you for sharing your experience and a little piece of yourself with us today .

  3. Mama Harris says:

    What a wonderful story, I think it’s wonderful that you were able to meet the author and tell her just how much her book helped you. I’m sure it meant so much to her to know that her writings made a difference, and I’m glad it gave your daughter an outlet and a way to open up during such a troublesome period. So glad you two worked it out together. <3

  4. If a book moves you to tears then it did what it intended to do.
    You’re not weird at all.

  5. Brandi says:

    Now I’M moved to tears! Wow! What a fantastic story, and how awesome that you were able to tell Kate. If I were her, I’d feel incredibly honored!

  6. wow!!! As a lover of books and good writing, I know how you feel! Like you Met Mike Jackson!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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