Tag Archives: events

Charlotte with Friends

Last week I visited two great schools in Charlotte, NC – Idlewild Elementary and Charlotte Secondary School – thanks to Park Road Books and with two wonderful authors: David Fulk (RAISING RUFUS) and Miriam Spitzer Franklin (EXTRAORDINARY). Click the links to check out the bookstore and the wonderful books. (Also, visit Park Road Books for signed copies of our books.)

Pics to come. Probably. Until then, here is a gif of some creepy-ish but happy bear-like pokemon?

pokmon slowpoke pokemon

 

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There’s no place like home…

Last Friday, I visited The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC – just a few miles from the house where I grew up. Actually, I remember going to the bookshop as a kid – as well as the ice cream parlor on the corner. There is something magical about seeing the bookstore and the ice cream parlor still there.  (I borrowed the pic from The Country Bookshop website and the shop is just as charming as it looks. More so, in the spring when the trees are budding and blooming. If you find yourself near Southern Pines, NC, definitely stop by.)

 

 

Also, look at the great white board dragon sign I had waiting for me.

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On this trip, I spoke about my books and writing at two schools – Westmoore and West End, and had an afternoon event at the bookshop. What a great time I had! And look at all the books I got to give out to students.

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I had a lot of fun. At Westmoore it was hat day, so if you squint you can see lots of hats going on in the pic. I wish I had known. I would have loved a good reason to wear a hat!

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It’s really nice to share my book with readers, and sharing about it near where I grew up is certainly special.

 

 

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Novels and Novelties in Hendersonville, NC

I visited The Fountainhead Bookstore (soon to be renamed Novels and Novelties) in Hendersonville, NC on Monday. (Okay the picture below is from an earlier visit on a sunnier day.) Monday it rained and rained. Despite the weather, the visit was great. I always feel welcome in Hendersonville and the bookstore is full of books and charm.  I did a store event, a podcast with local author Ken Butcher, and later met for a delicious dinner with the tween book club.

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Along with sword fighting and book talk, the store had a contest for ‘Best Dragon Art” and the winner, Ruth, drew an outstanding dragon!

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If you’re in Hendersonville, make sure to stop by The Fountainhead Bookstore (soon to be Novels and Novelties) for cool books, great people, and neat gifts.

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School visits at Timber Ridge MS and Fischer MS

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Last week, I visited 6th and 7th graders at Timber Ridge MS in Plainfield, IL and at Fischer MS in Aurora, IL with my fabulous fellow Fearless 15er fri20151016_085946ends and authors David Fulk (RAISING RUFUS) and Mike Grosso (I AM DRUMS). Anderson’s Bookshop set it all up for us!

This was the first author visit I’ve done with other authors. Usually, before these visits, I’m excited, but also nervous. I have to find the school, find whoever I’m going to meet there, and then present my program – all on my own. Although I was still excited, still nervous, it was nice to share the stress and the spotlight with friends. And I *think* we put on a good program for the students.

At Timber Ridge, the students had made posters of our books. It was amazing to see the giant cover art posters. They also had a band playing at the beginning of our program. Afterwards, several students came up to us in the halls to talk about our books. It’s just great to see kids excited about reading.

(Below there is a pic of us beside our posters. If you didn’t know, I’m the one posing like supergirl.)

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After Timber Ridge MS, we visited Fischer MS. We got great questions from the 7th grade class and then got to chat with some of the 6th grade library shelf helpers.

It was a great day at two great schools. IMG_0923

On Saturday, we had an event at Anderson’s Bookshop in LaGrange. The booksellers gave us a warm welcome and we got to chat about our books and read to a nice group of kids and adults.

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The Fountainhead Bookstore Author Event

On Wednesday, July 15th, I’m going to be at The Fountainhead Bookstore in Hendersonville, NC, at 11am to talk about my book and about writing! Then, in the afternoon, I’ll be at the Hendersonville Library to do the same. It should be a fun day with sword play, magic, and mischief. There won’t be any reading Pokemon tomorrow – at least, not that I know of – but here is a reading Pokemon to hold everyone over until Wednesday’s excitement. More to come later…

pokemon reading

http://www.fountainheadbookstore.com/

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A nice Sunday at Malaprops

MalapropsIt’s always exciting to me to visit the wonderful bookstores in Asheville, NC. I’ve never met a bookstore I didn’t like, but the ones in Asheville mean a lot to me because my debut book is set in their city. Last Sunday, I was lucky enough to spend time at Malaprops. It’s a cool store with a cafe. It’s always heart-warming when someone reads and likes my book. I must admit, one of the most exciting things about visit was seeing my book as a staff pick!

The booksellers made me feel welcome. I also got to discuss my book. As a writer, that is always a good time. The other thing about answering questions and chatting about my book is it makes me think about it more. Sometimes, I realize, oh hey, this book I read a long time ago about a girl with telekinesis inspired me some.

If you’re curious about the Malaprops name, they have a nice explanation here.

It looks like my book is in great company, too!

 

 

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Two Great School Visits in one day!

Yesterday, I had a wonderful time visiting students.  I stopped by Southern Middle School first. Their mascot is a DRAGON!  As I like dragons, and have them in my book, I took this as a good sign. In the author presentation I put together, I talk some about writing (and, of course, my book) and also how much the editing/revision process improved it. There’s a part where I read a short sentence or passage and then have the kids guess what type of editorial comment was attached to it.

I think it works well because it’s got a positive underlying message about criticism and edits (and editors) and it also gives them a taste of the story. MCSSMS posted a short video and you can see we had a good time and they were a great group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz-D70SlCkU&feature=youtu.be

I was lucky enough to visit Sandhills Classical Christian that afternoon. The students and I chatted books and talked about writing. They also knew how to fix the projector when my presentation turned green. To top it off, I saw a friend of mine, Ashley, who I hadn’t seen since I graduated high school. What a wonderful surprise and a great day!

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My First Author Visit (with pics and special added cat and dog gifs).

My first school visit was to the Crain’s Creek Middle School through The Country Bookshop. (The Country Bookshop is a wonderful sixty-plus-year-old independent bookstore. I wrote a little about them here at author Shannon Roat’s blog for her ‘Bookstore love’ series.) Of course, I was nervous. I’d never presented to students about my book before.

My first group was around a hundred – maybe more – sixth graders. When I saw the crowd, I felt a bit like this:

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But it’s not that I’ve never spoken in front of students. I taught high school and college biology for ten years. I usually do pretty good in front of a crowd. Usually.

One thing I’ve learned teaching, however, is I can never predict how well a presentation, workshop, or lesson will go. Even when everything should go right, I can have a bad day, the class can be grumpy, the great techno gods can smite the computer game I worked for hours to make. All I can do is prepare, take a deep breath, and not take myself too seriously.

It can be a bit tricky. (This sentence is here just so I can add a cat in a box.)

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Actually, I have three basic rules for presenting things:

1. Have a good detailed plan but not a script. It’s easier to tweak a plan halfway through than change a script if things go wonky. And wonky happens.

2. Entertain myself. That way, at least one person in the room is having a good time. Me. Besides, if I’m bored, I can’t expect everyone else to be interested.

3. And of course, I make sure they the students learn something. Hmm. Maybe this should be number one?

I always hope for this type of audience:

Kittens paying attention

As opposed to this falling-over, can’t stay awake, need some excitement version:

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I tried to apply those same teaching skills to my author visit. I guess once a teacher, always a teacher. Although, I also talked about my book. It’s an author visit so that seemed necessary. And I made a game with a horse and dragon, and a ‘can you spot the differences’ cover activity thing. I thought there was like a 60% chance it would work well.

Here I am, foam sword in hand, starting my visit:

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The question, of course, is how did it go?

It went great! I was lucky enough to have a good day and a wonderful crowd of students. Seriously, I was so impressed with the students at Crain’s Creek. I spoke to sixth graders first, then seventh and eighth graders next.

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Afterwards, I met with the Battle of the Books group.

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They really made my day. (<–My type keeps turning blue here. This is not planned.)

It never hurts to wave your foam swords, either.

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I just hope all my school visits are as great as the first.

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School Visit through The Country Bookshop

I’m going to go visit Crain’s Creek Elementary and then do a quick ‘Meet and Greet’ at The Country Bookshop in Southern PInes, NC. The bookshop even put up a window display 🙂 It’s great to visit the area where I grew up. Check out the window and the article in the local paper – The Pilot.

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Author visit (Feb. 7th) at Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, Asheville, NC

On February 7th, 2015, I’m having my first event ever at Spellbound Children’s Bookshop in Asheville, NC. There will be reading, crafts, and possibly battles with foam swords. It should be wonderful. Come and visit and possibly whack a friend with a foam sword.

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