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Do Author School Visits Matter?

August 13, 2018- I do a lot of school visits as an author, and someone once asked me the question, “Do author visits make a difference in kids’ lives?” I took a second to think about that. “Yes, they do. And let me prove it to you.” More on this in a second.

I love, love, love going to schools as a visiting author with the opportunity to read my books to young people! It is such a unique and wonderful experience that no two schools are the same. I leave with a sense of gratitude for the young minds that allow me their attention for even a brief time and for the teachers and librarians that welcome me with open arms, into their schools and their spaces. The questions that the children ask are fun, funny, and sometimes very personal! But, enough about what we as authors get out of school visits, what do the children receive?

According to a recent study that was conducted in 2013, by California State University, children receive the following benefits from author school visits:

  1. Author visits motivate children to read more. Kids passion for reading is ignited before, during, and after an author visit. They get excited about things that they can relate to such as an in-person visit from someone who is real! I often hear them say that they too want to be authors when they grow up.
  2. Author visits inspire creativity and expression. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a school where the kids have created a comic book for me, complete with illustrations, or how many times they’ve created a poem or handmade card.
  3. Author visits motivate children to write more. Children often hurry home after an author has visited their school because they’ve suddenly caught the writing bug. They want to write about anything, and everything, plus, author visits can also spark ideas to write about.

It is always beneficial to have an author visit your school! There are so many reasons why you should book a visit for the upcoming school year. Not only is it fun, but it’s also educational and entertaining.

I do in-person school visits, but I also offer live Skype visits and readings with schools that are abroad. Please contact pandapublishing8@gmail.com for more information.

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It’s ALL About Perspective

August 1, 2018- Earlier last week I was chatting with a woman who I’ve become friends with who works at my local bookstore. She asked me if I needed help with finding a book and I told her that I was looking for a psychology book that deals with Borderline Personality Disorder. “Whoa, that’s pretty interesting! Is it for a new book in the works?” She asked with a smile. “You know it!” I said. We got into a discussion about her writer’s block, and she asked me for some tips about getting the creative faucet to turn on. Here’s what I told her:

  1. Change your space. Change your environment. Use your opposite hand to eat, brush your teeth, etc. Change anything! I know I’ve harped on this a million times on this blog, but it can’t be understated! Change your space, and you change your perspective.
  2. Pick up a book outside of your regular genre and read it! Doing this helps to expand your imagination as a writer, and it may give you a tiny glimmer of something new to write about! Do you usually read non-fiction self-help books? Why not pick up a copy of a cozy romance or horror story? It might just be enough to get your creativity flowing.
  3. Think about a different perspective. Ok, everyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the Twisted Tales Series by Liz Braswell! If you haven’t put these on your To-Read list, you have to; they are fabulous! In her book As Old as Time, which is an interpretation of Beauty and the Beast, she explores what would happen if it was Belle’s mother who cursed the Beast! Right? I know. Here is a sample below of what the book is about:

    Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns—a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern. But Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose; intriguing images flood her mind—images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is twenty-one years in the making.

Holy smokes right? Why didn’t I think of this? Guess what? You CAN think of something like this! All you have to do is change your perspective. Let me prove it to you. I’ll give you some classic stories and how you can flip the view to write something entirely new:)

  1. Little Red Riding Hood– Write from the perspective of the Wolf. What is his side of the story? What if he was more afraid of Little Red Riding Hood than she is of him? Why should he be afraid of her? What has she done? What if she comes into the forest wearing a wolf-skin cape?
  2. Harry Potter-What if you wrote from Voldemort’s point of view? What happened in his life to make him the way he is? What trauma has he experienced in his life to become so evil? Of course, use this for inspiration only as I am not in the business of recommending copyright infringement. For creative writing purposes and to get the juices flowing, it’s okay to write about this. Just don’t publish it!
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird– Write from the perspective of Boo Radley. What was it like for him to be a recluse and never leave his house? What happened to him to make him this way? Did he watch Scout, Jem, and Dill and think about what he wanted to say to them? What would he say if he could?

I think you get the picture! Here’s to your creativity! Keep writing:) X LLB

 

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Why Do We Write?

May 15, 2018- We are the dreamers, the drifters, the storytellers, and the ones with big ideas. We have imaginary friends and meaningful, midnight conversations with the voices in our heads. We create worlds and galaxies and tear down truths and rebuild lies. We are the storytellers.

Why do we do this? Why is it so important for us to tell stories? Because that’s what we were meant to do with our lives. We have an innate yearning to slip inside the eye of our minds and stay there. We have an obligation to tell the stories of our characters, and their screams and gentle whispers will not die until we validate their existence.

This is why I write anyways. My sole reason for putting pen to paper is because I can’t imagine doing anything else. When you find your purpose, there is a fire lit deep inside of you that is impossible to extinguish. If you try to put out the flames, you’ll start to feel incomplete or as if something in your life is missing. Trust me; I know this from experience. Do what you love and live your life the way you were meant to!

Fellow authors, why do YOU write? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Writing,

LLB X

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Are You Making These Mistakes?

April 11, 2018-Here are some excellent examples of mistakes that aspiring creative writers make! Which ones are you making?

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Are You Killing The Tension? STOP!

January 4, 2018- Check out the tips below on doing tension right in your writing, from our friends at Ink and Quills.

As a writer, your job is to torture your readers with tension. The fun of…

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Writing Prompt of the Day

January 3, 2018- Often times, as a writing exercise, authors will use prompts to get the creative juices flowing. I like to use images sometimes because it jump starts my imagination. This image is a powerful one. While using this prompt there are some questions that you should answer: Is the person looking at the elephant a person at all or are they another animal? How did one come across the elephant? Where were they headed? Where did they come from? etc. Happy Writing! Elephant, Animals, Asia, Large, Bright, Close

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10 Tips for Creating Conflict! A Cheat Sheet

December 26, 2017-I found this awesome cheat sheet for creating conflict from Sacha Black! Enjoy and keep writing:)

Conflict – the foundation of every novel bled onto the page. Without it, your book flatlines harder than the grim reaper. No self-respecting book doctor will even attempt to resuscitate it. A…