Friday, April 29, 2011

Class Visits!

Yes, I know I've been MIA in the blogosphere lately. But I've been wonderfully busy preparing for classroom visits and then visiting those classes! It's really been a fun week.

Thursday, I had a skype visit with the sixth graders at Wentzville Middle School in Missouri. The english teacher has been reading A Dog's Way Home to her classes over the last several weeks, so the students had a good grasp of the book--essential for a skype visit. I talked with the kids about how I became a writer, what inspired me to write this book, and then some different elements of the book, such as why I chose the setting (North Carolina) I did, and who or what the antagonists are in the book. The kids very astutely fingered nature as Tam's antagonist. I wish I had allowed more time for the Q&A session. The kids really had great questions! Of course, the highlight of the whole presentation for the kids was when they got to meet my two shelties, Teddy and Sherlock (Boo hates to be held). The minute they saw Teddy's face with that white star on his head, they said, "It's Tam!" I know some authors are not comfortable with skype visits. But even being the technophobe that I am, I think it's such a great way to connect "live" with readers you normally wouldn't be able to.

Today I had a "real" school visit at one of our local elementary schools. The kids--3rd through 5th graders--were terrific. I'd made myself learn power point (can you believe it?) for this, and it worked (mostly) like a charm. Given the fact that A) there were probably 80-100 kids and B) many of them probably hadn't read the book, they were very attentive and engaged. And again, they had some great questions at the end! They were all pretty united in the opinion that since A Dog's Way Home was inspired by and written for Teddy and Boo, it's now Sherlock's turn for a book! And I think they're right!

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