Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sept 28th 2012, A date that shall live forever in awesomeness. Part 1: Speaking at the Junior High

Yup, I really enjoyed yesterday. Now I do realise the title of this post is somewhat overblown. After all, I forget random dates, too.

But the events from yesterday will be forever etched into memory. Unfortunately memories fade so I better write them down here. It was an excellent day for Annabelle and the whole project of getting her stories out into the world.

Speaking at Tooele Jr High
Love it! Everything went well. After I arrived Mrs. Crooksten helped me set up. I put the two posters (1 of Dominic and 1 of Annabelle, the first artwork of Ann) and the Starry Night Books 2nd ad (seen in an earlier post) on a portable dry eraser board with Mrs. Crookten's help. I set up a display for the books, my notepad, bookmarks and candy. We decided that when kids asked questions they would get a piece of candy or a bookmark.

Then the kids shuffled in. I spoke to the entire combined 1st period Language Arts classes. Both 7th and 8th grades. I spoke about my writing journey, Annabelle's adventures and asked the kids to name off vampire abilities. After talking about Night Children, I moved onto Myths. I spoke about the principle characters and explained about how the six characters in Myths will be stranded in Tooele, going to their school. I asked for advice on where these characters would fit into their school. We closed off with a question and answer period.

It went wonderfully. There were many questions and several suggestions. I scribbled down some creative ideas I'd never thought of. All the teachers had previously passed out worksheets and I'll be getting them back later with more suggestions. When I return to Myths after I finish edits on Dark Changes, there will be a lot to work with. Already my brain is flowing with ideas!

Then 1st period left and I took a tiny break, aware that this massive amount of viewers to my prolonged ramblings of the fiction kind was in fact, very enjoyable and I could do it again. I got my chance three more times that morning as I spoke to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th periods.

The only thing we changes was the format on how questions are asked. Before we found it hard to hear some questions and some got more than one question asked (and more than one candy) while others never got their turn. The teachers had a great idea of having 10 kids queue up in seats set up in front. After they get their questions/suggestions answered and received candy or bookmarks another ten took their place. It worked a lot better.

During plus period and homeroom I traveled home to pick up my wife and get lunch. We rejoined the school and spoke to four more periods. Janeen (my sweet wife) introduced me and picked the questioning kids (there were lots of hands up so someone had to pick 10 of them and then another set and so on. She had a blast. After the last period she got to chuck candy and the crowd erupted!

All in all a very good time. One girl in 1st period dressed like a vampire! My very own cos player! I've always dreamed of the day when people would like my books enough to dress like the characters. One of the teachers downloaded the Kindle version and her daughter was reading it while I spoke! I got a chance to see several friends of the family and my excited son, David. I basically spoke to the entire Junior High in 8 smaller chunks. Everyone enjoyed it and I'm invited back for next year!

Things to improve for next time: Two more posters (1 of Roland, one of the combined Dark Threats/Birth covers). A stuffed crow to represent the Falabranwyn. A camera so my wife can take pictures! Sorry I didn't think of the pics but next time I will!

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