Now that my web site is (finally) up and running, I am excited to be part of two online author-visit networks. If you're a teacher or librarian looking for an author to visit your school or library, check out:
- Author Visits by State at http://authorbystate.blogspot.com/. This resource is maintained by energetic author and frequent school visit presenter Kim Norman. (You can visit her author site at http://www.kimnormanbooks.com/.) It's a terrific way to locate authors in your vicinity - which means you won't pay extra for travel and lodging!
- For virtual visits absolutely anywhere, check out the Skype An Author Network at http://skypeanauthor.wetpaint.com/. Virtual author visits are becoming more and more common, bringing authors and readers together more than ever before. The really exciting thing, in this day of budget cuts, is that all the authors on the network will do a FREE Meet-the-Author session. This gives students time for a few questions and lets them see that authors are real people just like them. Some authors even do free in-depth visits as well.
The art of collaboration
Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of presenting to students and families at a local elementary school's Literacy Night about what authors do and how books are made. The sessions were energetic and upbeat, and, as always, there were terrific questions from students. One that stays with me came after I mentioned that it can take two years or more from the time you sign up a new project to the time a bound book arrives at your door. One girl asked, "What if the book arrives and you don't like the way it looks?"
Well, good question.
I told her that authors see many steps along the way, so it wasn't likely I'd be blindsided by the final stage. That said, bound books always look different - more official, trimmed and spiffy - than mechanicals, proofs, or dummies. I told the student that if things didn't look the way I hoped they would, I would take a deep breath and try to find some things that I did like about the book. The process of making books involves many people, many ideas, many backgrounds, and many personalities. Some books travel a smoother path to publication than others. But it's all about working together, and it's always a thrilling ride.
I am a children's book author and history lover who feels lucky to have such an amazing job!