I don’t do many school visits. I’m an under-the-radar kind of YA author, and I don’t mind that. So when I do go out and connect with readers, it’s both daunting and exciting.
|"The Final Word" was the last meeting of the school's Book Club|
My “visit” (via Zoom) to Hamilton District Christian High School checked every box: engaged students who asked excellent questions, enthusiastic and supportive teachers and teacher/librarians, some tough questions about the art and craft of writing, and some laughs. I loved every minute.
Writers don’t write for the accolades or to be told how wonderful they are (and anyone who reads reviews of their books on Goodreads knows how pointless that would be!) We don’t write for sales, or a market trend (at least, I hope that’s not the motivation...) We write because we’re full of stories we want to share. Because our characters become real to us. And we hope our stories and characters will resonate with readers, too.
That’s what this school visit was all about. LARKIN ON THE SHORE resonated with this group of young readers, and with their teachers – proof, if anyone needs it, that YA lit is just as appealing to adults as it is to the teen audience.
So I’m sharing a few scenes and words from my school visit. A little self-promotion, perhaps (because if I don’t do it, who will??), but also an encouragement to all the readers out there: When you find a book you enjoy, tell your friends, spread the word and, if you can, connect with the author. That’s why we write.
From the teacher-librarian who invited me to speak to her students:
“I have to tell you that I keep receiving such positive feedback from our group! I even had a parent tell me that her daughter, who has been to several author events, came home raving about you! Everyone loved hearing about the publishing process and they were thrilled about how approachable you were! I feel like I have been riding this wave since [your visit]!
Thanks again for closing out our Book Club year on such a high note! I love recommending your books to our students and teachers who want a good YA read!!”