Author and speaker, Wes Moore came to Nichols on November 19th to talk about his book, The Other Wes Moore. I enjoyed going to this event because he talked about his life, the other Wes Moore’s life, and writing the book. The bookis about two boys who have the same name and lived blocks away from each other in Baltimore, Maryland. They both took different paths to end up where they are today. The speaker Wes Moore went to college and then went into the military, the other Wes Moore lived a life of crime and is now serving a life sentence.
The most interesting part of his speech for me was when he tried to come up with a book title. He listed six titles and told his publishers they could pick one of the six. The publishers had a different idea; they wanted to name the book The Other Wes Moore. At first Moore had his doubts because he was not sure if he wanted his name on the cover of the book. For example, he made a comment about how one does not see J.K. Rowling naming her book The Other J.K. Rowling. He also mentioned how the book was not about him and how he did not want people to think it was all about him. So having the book title as The Other Wes Moore, may give off the impression that it is. He wanted everyone to know that the book is primarily about “the other”. Wes also talked about how everything on the inside of the book is what the author wants to get out into the world. Everything on the outside the book is what the publisher wants the readers to see. With that comment he said how he had no idea who the little boy on the front cover of his book was.
A student asked Wes, what motivated him to write a book. I was glad someone asked this question because I wondered this myself. He said one time when he was listening to a celebrity speak he heard the guy say, “I just want to say thank you to all of my haters.” Then he said, “Haters do not motivate me, that just sounds dumb.” He began by talking about how his family and readers motivate him. Also, talking about his book makes him want to keep writing because he sees all of the people listening to him.
To this day, Wes Moore the author, still visits Wes in jail. He does it mainly because they have the same name. When he first heard about the prisoner, Wes Moore and his story, he visited him in jail, not knowing that he was going to write a book about him. So even though the book is written, he still enjoys talking to Wes and answering any weird questions he may have like, “What did you have for dinner yesterday?” even though he already asked it before. He does those things because the other Wes Moore is in jail for life.
His speech was very powerful. I was interested the whole entire time he talked. Not once did I wish I was somewhere else.