February and March have continued to be busy months for me with my Microsoft Educator Community Skype Classroom visits—over 75,000 virtual miles total now. Whew! Yesterday I traveled from north Texas to New Jersey and all the way down under to Australia! G’day, mates!
In the past two months, I’ve also squeezed in a couple of in-person school visits in St. Louis at Lone Dell Elementary and Bayless Elementary, meeting hundreds of eager 4th and 5th graders.
What I enjoy so much with school visits—whether in-person or via Skype—is sharing my love of words with the students. Seeing them become excited about reading and writing is the best! Today, out of the blue, I received a note from Mark Nechanicky, 4th grade teacher in Albert Lea, MN, expressing appreciation for my January Skype visit with his class.
Thanks again for the Skype. We purchased and received books from you. Our media specialist told me that they are checked out all the time. Thought you should know the students really like the books.
This totally made my day! As a former school librarian, I know how awesome it is to have students lining up for a good read. And it’s totally amazing when that read is one I’ve written!
Chandra Hale, school librarian from Celina, TX, where I visited 5th graders yesterday, said: I’m trying to get a copy of each of your monster books for our library… Several students are already asking about checking them out:) And 4th grade teacher, Maria Krudzlo from Marlton, NJ, had this to say after my recent Skype visit with her class: They learned a lot. Thanks again! I ordered your books and the kids are arguing over who gets them first.
Again, that’s so super cool!
My books FROM THE GRAVE and INTO THE SHADOWLANDS are published by Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions. This is a small indie press, so it is much tougher for my books to be noticed by schools and libraries and middle grade readers. But I’ve found through my visits that WHEN my books and students connect it is a winning combination. I hope you’ll pass the word on about my monsters through social media with an Amazon or Goodreads review or a Tweet.
The REAL critics (the student readers) from all of these states so far: Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Connecticut, New York, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Washington, New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa—as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, Wales, and Australia—give a big “Scary on!” for my stories.
I hope you’ll have the opportunity to share my monsters with the special students in your life!