It's a little bit mad to schedule author events the week after New Year's. But school schedules can be tight, and I didn't want to miss the chance to visit Stilwell Elementary, home of the Mustangs, on January 10.
The kids and I had a fantastic time. First, I spoke to the 3rd-5th graders about how I came to write The Key & the Flame--my early writing, lack of art talent, early failures, and the eventual publication of the book. We also talked about what makes a good story and keeps readers turning pages.
With the kindergarten, first, and second graders, I took a different approach, assuming that 6-year-olds wouldn't be keen on hearing about all my rejection letters. We talked about story in general--how to brainstorm characters and setting--and then we created a story right on the spot with several talented actors from the audience.
In both groups, I was amazed at how attentive the kids were and what great questions they asked. Thank you, Stilwell, for such a warm welcome!
Next month: Off to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to visit with the Grizzlies of Vandergriff Elementary! Find a complete listing of upcoming events here. For info on arranging an author visit to your school, click here.