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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
July 2, 2018- Here’s a fun fact that you may or may not know, either way, you’ll enjoy it! Now you’ll never use one or the other in error:)
June 8, 2018- Well, this is pretty cool. I’ve never done this, myself, but it does look like something that could help start the creative process. I think that I’ll give it a whirl and see what I come up with! Here’s how it works:
Now I know that a lot of my other writers out there are screaming, “STOP THE MADNESS,” at their laptops because they already know step 1…which is to RIP A PAGE OUT OF A BOOK. I know. It’s crazy and mean and even slightly sacrilegious. But, sometimes art hurts. In fact, the BEST art hurts.
Step 2 is to black out all of the words you don’t want to use and create a new poem.
This is really the only way to turn someone else’s words into your own, some of you may be down with that concept and some of you may not. Do whatever works for you.
Here is a sample of blackout poetry ripped and recreated from my most fave Shakespeare work of all time, Macbeth. I love the blood and gore and fortune telling and the moving forest and and and…
Love this poem, “I care about you. Join me in hell.” Whoa, that’s pretty powerful. I wonder how many hidden messages were contained in this work? Feel free to make your own and let your imagination run wild! Happy Writing!
May 23, 2018- I definitely use these symbols when I’m editing, mostly the coffee one; LOL! The second and third columns are a joke of course, and most editors don’t use these symbols…if you know an editor that does-RUN!
March 30, 2018- Last November while our friend Alan was visiting from England, the movie Murder on the Orient Express came out. It was based on the book of the same title, by author Agatha Christie. I hadn’t really read or followed her work before this, to be honest, although I had heard much about her. We bought the book and then saw the movie-both were terrific, but for me personally, I enjoyed the book more…it’s always that way for me:) I found this really cool fact about Agatha and just had to share. She continues to astound me with her writing and personal life. I know I’m a little late, but now, I will always be a fan!
Let’s see how many squares you can fill! Good Luck!
February 27, 2018– I’m wondering if this happens to you; have you ever stuck to one specific genre for quite a long time when reading? Do you ever feel like you need a break? Lately (I mean for the past five years) I have been completely immersed in the psych/thriller/horror genre of books and I find myself needing something that will allow me to relax and recharge my psyche. It’s funny, because I get this way with movies too! Every now and then I need to throw in a night of Billy Madison or Tommy Boy to balance out the hours of Die Hard or Rocky. I know that none of these particular titles are ones that “make you think”, but sometimes I get sick of all action all the time. That’s why recently I’ve turned to something called “cozy romance.” Now, let me be the first to say that I am NOT by any means a fan of romantic fiction in any way, shape, or form, but there is something comforting about these wonderful books.
Picture this, it’s raining outside, there are two cats cuddled up at the end of your bed, and the only thing you have to do is spend the day relaxing and reading by the fireplace. It’s pure bliss, that’s what that is! That’s what reading a cozy romance feels like to me. They are a particular genre that entertains, but also doesn’t make you think too much, which is something we all need once in a while to just cleanse our literary palettes so-to-speak.
Definition of “cozy romance” according to the Huffington Post: Cozies are fun to read. There’s a formula to the cozies that work very well drawing readers back again and again. The amateurs in such stories are nearly always well educated, intuitive women. Books, especially in series form usually have the story line relate to the detective’s job or hobby. Murderers in cozy mysteries are generally intelligent, rational, articulate people, and murders are pretty much bloodless and neat. Violence and sex are low-key and supporting background characters bring comic relief to the story. Some cozy series are set during holidays such as Valentine Day or Christmas making them more intimate to the reader.
I sincerely hope you’ll check out these adorable little mysteries!