Why Superheroes?

If you follow me on social media, I’ve spent the past few days discussing a recent author visit that I did. That’s right! This is the newest part of my author life. I’m offering in-person school visits. It’s funny that I wanted to be an author when I was younger because I thought they got to sit quietly and not have to talk to people. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

I’ve always thought about doing school visits, but the idea has always terrified me. I’ve always been open about my struggles with anxiety. Public speaking is something that I never thought I would do. In college, I would drop a class, if I could, if I noticed an oral presentation was required. The whole reason I didn’t want to become a k-12 educator was because I would have to speak in front of people. [Wait! How did I get into education anyway? I’ll save that for another blog.]

Yet, I now how important it is for kids to see what they can grow up to be. For some kids, it makes a huge impact when they see an author who looks like them (and that’s something they’re not used to). I knew I wanted to eventually do school visits, but I was afraid. My anxiety gave me thousands of reasons why this would be a bad idea. I decided not to listen and to do it scared. I just needed something to make me feel more comfortable and confident.

Did you know that I love Marvel movies? Black Panther (the first one), The Avengers movies, etc… I loved them–well, most of them. However, it wasn’t until I started wondering what my presentation would be about that I came to a realization. I’ve ALWAYS loved superheroes: Captain Planet, Underdog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles. X-Men…I even collected superhero trading cards! (Also, did you know that National Superhero Day was on April 28th?)

I liked their bravery. I liked their costumes. I liked that they were special. More importantly, I liked that they always tried to do the right thing no matter how tough things got.

Funny enough, I knew that if I made superheroes the foundation of my presentation, I could be brave enough to do it. I had a blast! I had a great time with the students, and they truly seemed to enjoy themselves. I even got author hugs! For how much I was smiling, I’m surprised my cheeks didn’t hurt. You can just look at the pictures. I am over-smiling in almost every one. I honestly couldn’t help it!

So, why superheroes? Because everyone needs to feel super at one time or another, and it doesn’t take much to remind someone (especially young readers) of just how special they are. It may just take an author in a cape.

Ashley spins in a cape

This just may be my official author visit outfit.

Let’s hear it for the back of the cape!