Wow! I was greeted by a wall full of aliens when walking into the media center at Reede Gray Elementary this morning. It was so fun to see, especially since I center my presentations around the space alien duo of Eek and Ack. They are fun, silly, a little disgusting, and always a hit with kids.
I use examples from my Eek and Ack books to talk about my writing processes, from generating ideas to formulating stories, as well as show students the steps the illustrator, Steve Harpster, had to go through when working on these books. I even have copies of the storyboards and inks that Steve drew up.
I also received quite a send off from Reede Gray. While presenting to one group of students, an earlier class drew up thank you cards for me. So fun! I don’t think that has ever happened to me before.
After Reede Gray Elementary, I spent the afternoon presenting at the Wabasso Public Library, which ended the first stint of my tour, but I still have several more schools to visit later this month.
Stay tuned . . .
Headed out this morning, bright and early, armed with a thermos of coffee, and left my home in St Paul to visit the students at Minneota Public School (Go Vikings!). It’s the first stop on my tour of SW Minnesota schools.
I always enjoy walking into a school’s media center and seeing my books on display. Not to mention getting students riled up about writing and drawing. We had a fun, full day of presentations, for grades K–6, at Minneota. Here’s some of the students showing off their illustrating skills.
And then, as if I wasn’t exhausted enough after spending the day trying to match energy levels with exited elementary students, I decided to head over to Redwood Falls and hike around Alexander Ramsey Park. It’s the largest city park in MN, and I only had time to cover a fraction of its hiking trails. But since I was in a part of the country that I have never visited, I had to take advantage of the opportunity to see some of the sights.
I’ll be at Reede Gray Elementary School tomorrow.
Some of you may know the story behind the book (JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit) that nudged me toward wanting to be a writer. While Tolkein may have planted the seed, it was Terry Brooks, and his Shannara trilogies, who nourished my aspirations. Yeah, I was big into fantasy when younger, and the genre still holds a special place in my writing aspirations—I will one day write a book about dragons!
Next week, Terry Brooks will be reading at the Hennepin County Library from his newest book in the Shannara saga. I am beyond stoked! I even managed to find my original copy of The Elfstones of Shannara to possibly get signed. Too bad my copy of The Sword of Shannara, the first book in the series, had fallen apart years ago—it was a well read and treasured book.
Over the weekend I took part in the St. Peter Book Festival, to help promote Lake 7 Creative’s Can You Survive? series. My book Greek Mythology’s Adventure’s of Perseus, released last fall, is part of that series, which adapts classic tales into choose-your-path type stories. But I also had to show off Campfire Crisis now that I have copies in hand. The cover looks great!
The Mankato Free Press wrote up an article featuring the festival. Somewhat hidden in the background of one of the photos is a friend and fellow author, Jason Glaser. I wish I could have recorded the complimentary things he had to say about my Perseus story—he enjoyed how closely I stuck to the original myth, but did admit that even he died once because he wasn’t sure how to slay Poseidon’s sea monster. (What I have to say to that—Gotcha!)
Overall, it was a day full of books and old acquaintances. Even met a few new ones like illustrator Cori Doerrfeld, who sat at the the table next to me. She’s worked with Brooke Shields! Having grown up in the 80s, I was fascinated by that. But Cori also has some fun books that she’s written and illustrated, such as Penny Love Pink.