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.
August 10, 2018- What is your definition of being a successful author? This is the question that I ALWAYS ask the authors that I work with; whether self-published or traditional, it’s important to be able to answer this!
You are the only one who can define success and everyone’s definition and idea of success is different. Here are some answers I’ve received over the years after posing the question:
If I sell $1 million dollars worth of books
If kids read my book in their school
If I have a huge house, and an in-ground pool, and a convertible
If people line up to see me at book signings
If I become famous around the world
If someone tells me I’m their favourite author
If my book helps one person
If a celebrity reads my book and gives me a shout out on social media
If I’m a bestseller on the NY Times list
If I get a tv interview
If my book gets turned into a movie
So, as you can see, there are a lot of DIFFERENT versions of success and it’s all dependent on how you choose to define it! Write down your version of success and start working towards that goal. There are no wrong answers! Remember, you can’t hit a target that you can’t see. Here’s to your success, whatever that may be.
July 13, 2018- If I can’t take my book I’m not going! I saw this scrawled across a t-shirt while in Starbucks one afternoon and I chuckled to myself because that’s entirely me.
I bring a book with me wherever I go. I’m not kidding; I’m a fan of paperbacks, which works well most of the time for convenience and portability, but every now and then I will bring my Kindle or read on my phone. I know, nothing beats the feel and experience of a real book in hand, but desperate times…
Last year I was able to read 52 books in a year, that’s one a week, and here’s how I did it. I read during the spaces in between as I like to call them. I read on planes, trains, and in automobiles. I read while waiting at the doctor’s office, while waiting for clients, and I even listen to books if I’m commuting somewhere. There are so many choices for voracious readers that I ask you, what do you choose? Are you a die-hard Kindle user? Do you prefer hardcover books? Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you carry a paperback with you wherever you go? Sound off in the comments below and let me know where and how you choose to read!
May 1, 2018- Alright friends, here is the May schedule of book signings and upcoming events! I hope to see you out and about because I love meeting old and new friends!
May 3, 2018– I have the privilege of speaking to a fantastic group of women about the Business of Writing and Memoirs at the Westover Women’s Institute. I can’t wait to share some ideas and chat with some fabulous ladies!
May 4, 2018– I will be the guest author at a school in Hamilton where I will be sharing all of our picture book titles, Panda the Very Bad Cat, Phillip Star, and Deer Diary with the students. These visits are as much fun for me as they hopefully are for the students.
May 12, 2018– Author L.L. Colling will be signing copies of her newest thriller, Obsessed with Her at Indigo Erin Mills from 12:00-3:00; Stop by to say hello and get your copy signed!
May 19, 2018– Obsessed with Her book signing event. Meet the author, L.L. Colling at Indigo Burlington from 12:00-3:00!
May 26, 2018-L.L. Colling continues her tour of Obsessed with Her and will be stopping by Coles in Welland. You’ll be able to get your very own copy signed and chat with the author.
March 8, 2018- I feel that the title to this particular post is slightly misleading. It’s not really a How-To type of post, but rather some real world tips on I personally finished two novels this year. I’m no different than you are. I have a family, pets, a household and I am the head of two companies and counting. I am a wife, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a writer, a publisher, a public speaker, a teacher, and I enjoy lots of different hobbies in my free time, just like you! With all of these demands on my time, how is it even remotely possible that I’d be able to finish one novel in a year, let alone two? Here’s a not so secret, secret; I write when I can, wherever I can, when there are spaces in between.
That’s not saying that I’m not disciplined with my writing, but there are some days that get skipped because there are more pressing demands on my time. Personally, this is my process and this process will be different from author to author.
I start with an idea– I have at least 6 notebooks that are packed to the brim with story ideas or as I like to call them, story starters. That’s not to say that I’ll use all of them or any of them, but this allows me to start brainstorming when inspiration strikes. I read them every now and again and more often than not, they lead me to begin forward motion on my writing.
I create an outline-If anyone has sat in on any of my classes, they know how mental I am about outlining! Outlining allows me to know what the story is about, where it’s going, and how it ends. I don’t need to know every single detail, but I need a general idea and some good bones of the story to get a feel for it. Sometimes my outlines are elaborate, sometimes they’re simple. It depends and most of the time there is no rhyme or reason for which way I decide to do it.
I write in between-As mentioned earlier in my post, I write in scraps of time that I manage to pull together here and there. I write in notebooks, and on pieces of napkin, on backs of discarded envelopes, and on my phone. I write wherever I can and whenever I can. I write while waiting in the doctors office, I write while on hold on a phone call, I write in my truck if I arrive ten minutes early to an appointment and I write in between meetings. THIS is the single most effective thing that I have ever done to finish my novels, because let’s face it, no one sits down to start and finish a novel all in one shot.
With all things considered, I urge you to write in a disciplined manner, setting aside blocks of time each day to tackle your novel, but don’t neglect those stolen moments.
I know that this is a bit behind schedule, but I thought that I’d post some upcoming events anyways!
Monday, February 12– Author Visit- I’m excited to present Deer Diary and Panda the Very Bad Cat to the JK to Grade 2 children at two schools in St. Catharines.
Thursday, February 15-Author Visit- I’ll be presenting Deer Diary and Panda the Very Bad Cat in the morning to some students, and then I’ll be attending a literacy event in the evening at another school. I know it’ll be an excellent event and I can’t wait to meet some eager readers.
Saturday, February 17-It’s a Family Affair Event-This event takes place in Burlington at 10 am until 4 pm, and I’ll be there signing copies of all of my books! Stop by and say hi if you’re in the area, I’d love to visit with you.
Friday, February 23-Author Visit-I’ll be presenting a publishing workshop to some students in senior grades seven and eight, and we’ll also be talking about character development and the mechanics of book creation!
Sunday, February 25– Meet the Author event at Nest- I’ll be signing copies of my books at Nest from 1-4 on Sunday, February 25th and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be invited! Robyn Allan is the owner of this fabulous store that supports artists from Hamilton and the surrounding area. Nest is located at 171 Locke St. South in Hamilton. Check out their site at nesthamilton.com.
Wednesday, February 28– Join me at the Terry Berry branch of the Hamilton Public Library as I present a publishing workshop to the Hamilton Mountain Writer’s Circle members from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm. A very special thank you to Professor Barry Gotlieb for the invitation!
March looks like it shaping up to be just as exciting! Stay tuned for upcoming events.
January 15, 2018– We love going back to school and reading to kids is one of our favourite things to do! Each interactive presentation is specifically geared to each class. There is a live reading of the book, a question and answer period, behind the scenes secrets of book writing, publication, idea generation, and of course, a whole host of additional surprises! If you would like more information about booking one of our authors to come and do a live presentation of their book at your school, we would be happy to help. Please use the contact information below to check availability, fees, and to have all of your questions answered. We hope to see you soon!
Please contact Lacey L. Bakker via email at email@example.com for any questions.
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