Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tyson Elementary School Visit

Spring has sprung, and my comfy winter of hiding in my office and getting things done is over. As much as I love that quiet, productive time, I also love getting out and meeting readers. Spring is also the time for author visits at elementary schools, and I was thrilled this week to visit Tyson Elementary right here in Springdale.

I met their librarian, Mrs. Valerie Harp, when she stopped by my booth at the War Eagle Fall Craft Festival in 2017. She was excited to meet a local author, and I was excited to meet such a lovely champion of reading and books. After a few chats over email, we set up my author visit at her school for March 9th.

Yay for Mrs. Harp, Rock Star Librarian!
Kimba and Hiro highly approve.

School visits take on all shapes and forms, but this talk was to the entire student body after their Friday morning assembly. I thought the kids might be a little tired of sitting on the cafeteria floor by the time I came on, but they were wonderful and engaged and loved seeing the real photos of our whole Cats in the Mirror family. Many books went into eager hands, and the library was set up with a copy of all of my books, including Bianca and Max's Wild Night in hardcover. Yes, Max is now in hardcover! But more on that in a minute.

Reading the opening of Bianca and looking at how the cover design was done.
(From Tyson Elementary's Facebook Page)
Both now in hardcover!
(From Tyson Elementary's Facebook Page)

I'm so grateful that Mrs. Harp promoted and supported and cheered on this author visit. I have had events that did not go so well because the librarian didn't help get the kids excited or share my books ahead of time. You can't just drop onto their doorstep. Author visits are the most beneficial when the students are a bit invested in the stories you will be talking about. Mrs. Harp had shared Max with a large percentage of the students, and I love that their biggest concern was if Max was still alive. Yes, Max is most certainly still alive, though he is an old man dog of 12 now. Many, many thanks to Mrs. Harp and all the wonderful people I met at Tyson Elementary. Everyone was so cheerful and welcoming. What a delightful school environment!

And back to a bit more news on the Max front. My cozy winter months were spent fussing with my first edition of Max's Wild Night and creating the hardcover version of the book. My next blog will have much more about that, and hardcover versions of the whole Cats in the Mirror series are on the horizon. Maybe the distant horizon--it's a time-consuming process--but I can still see it.

Many of you are probably getting ready for spring break vacations. Callista comes home on Friday to rest for a week before the final push to end her sophomore year. I'm hoping to get her to create some new illustrations for Why Kimba Saved The World. We shall see.

And if you are in the parts of the country that are covered in snow, I send you my condolences. I lived in the North most of my life and don't miss snow at all. I'll try to swish some warm weather your direction. Scott and Amanda are working on a new flower bed out in front of the house while I type this. It's planting time in Arkansas. Whatever your weather and plans for March, Happy Spring to each of you!