Author Visits

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 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.


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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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Get Your Author Out of the Library

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Author Visits, Children's Literature, Educators & Librarians | 0 comments

IMG_6862I recently visited the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) at their National Convention in Columbus Ohio, which is a far hipper town than you think. For one thing, they have this car driving around downtown! Look closely and you’ll see that, yes, those are Babie doll legs sticking up from the top.

At the AASL, I regaled the librarians with advice gleaned from 10 years of coming to schools as a visiting author. Would you like to hear some of the gems?

1) Convey enthusiasm. Talk about your author visit as if it is going to be a blast, with everybody from students to principal to teachers to custodian. The excitement spreads out from you.

2) Share information. From early on, tell your staff, your teachers, and your students who will be coming, why you chose her, and why she’s cool.

3) Get the books. Buy them, borrow them, steal them if you have to, but make sure each kid reads at least one book.

4) Make your students into hosts. Rather than telling them, “We’re going to do something amazing for you,” tell them, “Something amazing is happening at our school and we need your help.” Recruit them to make displays, greet the author, guide her to the library, write an article about her for the school newsletter–anything that turns them into active participants.

5) Tell your author where to park. Please. I can’t be the only author in the world who finds the layout of schools and their associated parking lots bewildering.

More tips to come later….

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