Author Visits

Talking about The Eureka Key at Victor Intermediate

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Author Visits, Book: The Eureka Key, Educators & Librarians, School Visits, Secrets of the Seven, SERIES: Secrets of the Seven | 0 comments

IMG_9623 This week I visited Victor Intermediate School in Victor, NY, a lovely little hamlet near Rochester. What made it super exciting to me was that this school had picked The Eureka Key for a community read. It was my first time (as far as I know) to be read by an entire school (of 1100 kids, no less).

Now normally I’m in a favor of a LOT of choice when it comes to reading. We’re not all the same as readers; let’s let the nonfiction kids read about dinosaurs and the fantasy kids read about dragons and the sensitive kids read tearjerkers. It’s all reading! It’s all good!

But I have to admit to a certain thrill in having a shared experience of reading every now and then. It was part of what made the Harry Potter phenomenon so fun. It wasn’t that they were the best books in the world (not the worst, either). It was the joy of sharing Hogwarts with so many other people. With your friends and classmates and strangers you met on the bus. It brought the fictional world into real life, joined us together into a community who shared our imaginary lives. It was lovely.

I felt a little bit of that in the school today. The kids were so excited to see me and so eager to take in what I had to share about writing and so excited to do some writing themselves. And sharing the book with the whole school, kids and teachers and families and all, was what built that excitement.

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I signed A LOT of books!

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Everybody made their own “Eureka Keys” with terms describing themselves–the keys to their personalities!

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Chenery Book Festival

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Author Visits, Book: Dragon's Egg, Educators & Librarians, Events | 0 comments

Here I am with my fellow festival-era! Ammi-Jo Paquin, on left, specifically requested that we not mention how she is holding her book upside down and backwards....so I won't.

Here I am with my fellow festival-ites! Ammi-Joan Paquette, on left, specifically requested that we not mention how she is holding her book upside down and backwards….so I won’t.

Had a lovely time yesterday at the Chenery Book Festival in Belmont, MA, where the dogwoods are blooming. The only drawback was that so many kids and parents wanted to drop by to talk about books that I didn’t get enough of a chance to hobnob with my fellow authors!

This reader didn't want her face to show in the photo. But how cool is it to meet a reader whose shirt matches your book!

This reader didn’t want her face to show in the photo. But how cool to meet a reader whose shirt matches your book!

I did have some happy chat with poet Teresa Millstein (you know how some poets just look like they’re poets? She’s one of those) and novelist Tara Sullivan (I took home her remarkable and harrowing The Bitter Side of Sweet.) This fabulous festival held at Chenery Middle School and organized by super librarian Karen Duff (seriously, where’s her cape?) gets better every year!

Chenery Author Fest 2017 Banner

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Sometimes in the Grocery Store

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Author Visits, Book: Quick Little Monkey, Marmosets, Promotion | 0 comments

Almost exactly four ounces. But I went with a lime in the end.

Almost exactly four ounces. But I went with a lime in the end.

When you’re a writer of children’s books, sometimes it happens that you go to the grocery store and start weighing various pieces of fruit. You do this because you are searching for one that weighs between four and five ounces, which happens to be  the weight of an adult pygmy marmoset.

You need to know the weight of an adult pygmy marmoset because there is one in your book, Quick, Little Monkey. And you’re going to a library to do a book presentation, and you want to give the children something they can actually hold so they can really get how tiny these primates are.

So you weigh all the fruit, and you take a picture because this is kind of funny and maybe you’ll write about it in your blog. And you discover that a lime is precisely the weight that you need. And that’s about when you notice the couple next to you eying you and edging discreetly away.

You consider explaining that you are photographing and weighing fruit because you’re looking for something that is the same weight as an adult pygmy marmoset, but you decide that won’t help.

So you go and pay for your lime. And you get some chocolate too. Because.

#writingisweird

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Planning an Author Visit?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Author Visits, Book: Mercy: The Last NE Vampire | 0 comments

Islandport Press (who published my vampire novel, Mercy) has some great tips and suggestions if you’re a teacher or librarian hoping to bring an author or illustrator to your school or library.

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