I’m heading up to Northern Kentucky University tomorrow to participate in their annual Bookfest on Friday, May 4. It’s a really incredible day long program in which about 500 middle grade students from around the state come to the NKU campus in Highland Heights to talk about books and reading.
Here is a link to NKU’s webpage about it, with a really terrific video showing highlights of years past:
Last year, Silas House was the featured speaker, so I’m just thrilled and honored to have been asked to follow in his footsteps.
Will post pictures from the event soon! Hope to see you there!
As a writer, I’m often asked to come to speak to schools or to groups of young people, and it’s always an honor, and often very inspiring for me. A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Lancaster, Kentucky and spoke to three different groups of young writers from several different counties:
The Fire Writers
The Clark Moores Middle School Pencil Breakers
Wow! What cool names. And what cool kids! They all sat and listened intensely as I read the first chapter of Dream of Night, and then they had some truly terrific questions ready for me. Obviously these three different groups were serious about books and reading and writing, and that’s something that’s just so awe-inspiring to see in this day and age when there are so many distractions.
Thanks to Beth Dotson Brown for inviting me to speak, and thanks to those awesome girls for being who they are. Keep reading, keep writing — and as I noted in your books — keep dreaming, because once upon a time I dreamed about being a writer, and I’m here to tell you that dreams really can come true!
I knew that Scholastic had picked up my novel, Dream of Night, for its book club, but I hadn’t seen the title in any of the flyers my son Daniel had brought home lately. But then my friend, Rebecca, who is living in Japan right now emailed to tell me that her sons (who go to a Canadian School in Japan) had brought home their monthly Scholastic order form — and there it was! Right on the front cover! How cool! What amazing placement! Rebecca said, “Wow, you’re right below Gary Paulsen! That’s a big honor!” I couldn’t agree more!
A few days later I went to Daniel’s school book fair, and Dream of Night was right there on the shelf! I actually purchased a copy — and my kids were like, “Um, Mom, why are you buying your own book?” — because the book is still in hardcover and it’s interesting to see the Scholastic paperback version. I’ve been getting a lot of fan emails lately about Dream of Night, asking me questions about rescuing horses, etc., and I think the sudden renewed interest (the book was published last spring) is due to the book being available in Scholastic book fairs. This is really exciting for me. I grew up on Scholastic book fairs, and so it’s so cool to have my own books on that well known order form, available to kids all over — including Japan!
First of all, Happy 2011! Okay, I know I’m starting to sound old, but I can’t believe how quickly time is flying by. It seems like only yesterday it was the ’90’s…and then the ’00’s and now the 10’s…when I was a kid we all thought we’d be zooming around in flying cars by 2011 because it sounded so space age. Oh well.
Anyway, Christmas and New Year’s was a whirlwind as usual. I’ve definitely been in my hectic mommy mode for a while now, not in my quiet, thoughtful writer mode, so it was fun to get my feet wet again by sending my own kids away for the morning so I could spend some time with a cool bunch of girls and their cool moms in Brooklyn, New York for a mother/daughter book club a couple of weeks ago.
The subject was Here’s How I See It/Here’s How It Is, my middle grade novel published a couple of years ago, now in paperback (handy for book clubs!)
It’s the first time I’ve Skyped for a book club. Everything went really well. I could see the girls right there on my computer and they could see me, and so it felt intimate even though we were at least 700 miles away from one another. We talked about why I wrote the book and how I became a writer. They had some great questions like, who is my favorite character in my book (a tie: Junebug & Simon), and why I chose the plays I did for the book (they all had themes that were relevant to the story), and what other children’s books writers I admire (Patricia MacLachlan, Sharon Creech, Kate DiCamillo, Laurie Halse Anderson.)
There were lots of laughs, lots of smiles, lots of talk, lots of fun!
Here’s a picture of the group, and their email response after we’d said goodbye.
Heather, Thanks for talking to us. That was great. We loved your book!
Lola, Caitlin, Hannah Lola, Jesse, Juliana
Thank you, my cool Brooklyn girls and moms for reading my book and for making my first Skype book chat so much fun! Have fun with the club, read lots of good books, and remember, always follow your heart and your dreams!