school visit2

Here I’m showing the kids my mad illustration skills. Thank goodness Mina Sanwald was the illustartor for the map and Timothy Banks the illustrator for the cover.

This past week I found myself fluctuating between extreme fear and exhilaration. The date was set for me to have my first author visit in a school. For years I’d dreamed of when I could be in front of students as an author instead of a classroom teacher. Now it was really happening. Really happening!!! My stomach was churning all week. My gym workouts were easy. I had enough nervous energy to run for miles!

I created a PowerPoint, packed extra books of mine, and of other authors who had inspired me, and made a list of everything I needed to bring. I watched many TED speeches. Then, I rehearsed for hours. I even planned what I was going to wear and painted my nails. For me, the woman who loves sweats and jeans, that was a huge deal.

I kept asking myself why I was so nervous. I taught in a classroom for five years and then was a substitute for another four. I was used to being in front of students. This was different. First, it was something I had dreamed of doing for many years. The simple fact that it was coming true was overwhelming in itself. Add to that my passion for MYSTIC and getting to share it with kids…well, I knew it was enough joy to bring me to tears or cause me to run for miles on a treadmill.

school visit Feb 15 2013

Even though I describe myself as an introvert something happens to me when I’m around kids. They bring out a love from within that masks all my fear. I want to talk to them and understand them, make sure all is well in their world. So as soon as I was in front of those smiling faces I immediately went into teacher mode. I told them about MYSTIC and the writing process and of how lucky they are to have a library full of great books to read. I shared Arielle’s story and why I decided the character of Amelia would use a wheelchair. Afterwards, I signed books and bookmarks and watched kids get excited to read. It was a day I’ll never forget.

The most popular question from all three presentations: “Will MYSTIC be a movie?” My answer: “Do you know any directors?” Second most popular question: “What does Ralient do?” Kids love bad guys!!!

Comments to "Fear and Exhilaration"

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