Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Reading/Signing Event #2

Gloucester Township Starbucks
Saturday, January 29 at 4 p.m.
1490 Blackwood-Clementon Rd.
Clementon, NJ 08021

One Minor Change

My visit to Claudia Cuddy's publishing industry class at Rowan University has been moved to Tuesday, April 5 at 3:15 p.m.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Reading/Signing Event #1

Future Vision
Saturday, January 22, 2011
@ Noon
Monroe Township Starbucks
2090 Black Horse Pike
Williamstown, NJ 08094
Yummy Starbucks Samples!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Whitehall Elementary School

Today I visited my former elementary school, Whitehall Elementary in Monroe Township.  I talked with three different groups of kids about what it's like to be an author. I also shared a story with them that I wrote when I was in fifth grade at that school. The story is "Alicia's Alarm," and it is based on true events surrounding my younger sister's back surgeries. When I was in elementary school, it was published by Guideposts for Kids magazine, a photographer was sent to my house to take pictures of my sister, and I was paid $100 for the story--I was the richest kid on the block!

I was impressed with the Whitehall students' attention spans; they were great audiences! More than that, though, I enjoyed the funny questions and comments. Some of my favorite interactions are listed below:

  • After explaining the reasons for my sister's back operations in simple terms (she had spondylolisthesis), I assured the students that my sister is alright now, with minimal physical limitations. Still, one poor second grader spent a good minute asking me all sorts of questions about it just in case she might have it! I assured her that it is extremely rare and only hereditary, since she was afraid she could catch it, but the poor girl looked terrified for the rest of my presentation! Oops!
  • After the third presentation, one of the teachers found my fifth grade picture in an old school yearbook, which was kept in the library. When passing it around, one of the boys commented on my photo, "She's cute!" Ha ha! That was cute!
  • During the question portion of a presentation, one of the girls raised her hand and told a story of how when she was reading a book her baby sister dialed 9-1-1 and the police showed up at her house! Not exactly a question, but I told her to remember that experience and write a funny story about it.
  • I brought a photocopied black and white version of "Alicia's Alarm." The original book version I made in fifth grade is becoming somewhat fragile as the glue dries, so I didn't want to risk it falling apart. Anyway, as an elementary school student and with the help of my dad, I drew pictures to accompany the text. So, in true elementary school style, I showed the pictures to the students on each page, which were still very clear even though it was a black and white copy. At the end of the presentation, one of the students made some comment about Future Vision's cover being in color and "Alicia's Alarm" being in black and white. Before I could explain that that was just because it was a black and white photocopy, one boy announced, "That is because when that book was made, they weren't able to print in color yet!"  I forgot that even though I am only 22 years old, I am a dinosaur to third graders.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Alma Mater

I'm really looking forward to speaking on "Fiction Writing and Publishing" with Claudia Cuddy's Publishing Industry class at Rowan University. I will be there Tuesday, March 22 at 3:15 p.m.



 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Save the Date

Wed. April 13, 2011. "Meet the Authors Event" at the Monroe Township Public Library at 713 Marsha Ave. in Williamstown, NJ. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free! Come see me there!

What kind of advice do I offer?

Want to find out exactly what kind of advice I offer in my newest book, Smarty-Pants: How to Become a Valedictorian ? Click on the link...