Being an author is sometimes like being a pirate. We too are always hunting for treasure. Only our treasure isn't buried's new readers, who are not usually buried at all and much harder to find since they tend to move around a lot. There are no maps, no clues and no "X marks the spot" when hunting for new readers. So I guess authors work much harder than pirates to find their treasure...and authors have much better grammar and fashion sense than pirates do. I'm sorry if I have insulted any pirates out there, but it's the truth.

I recently went on a reader hunt and darned if I didn't find a few. They like to gather in all sorts of places, including book festivals, which is where I was camped out last weekend.

The event was called The Word on the Street and it was held in the parking lot of my childhood library. I got to sit in a wind-blown tent all day and peddle copies of SPARK and BLAZE.

I also sat at a table next to a cartoonist who drew the story of an unhappy radish, I counted at least twenty dogs going by my tent and nearly fifty babies, and I had cheese pizza for lunch. It was a pretty good day.

But the best part of all was finding middle graders who are excited to read my books.

You are a much better treasure than diamonds and doubloons.