Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Class Visits...

This is my second year as a published author and I have not participated in a school visit as of yet. Public speaking and oral interviews are a couple of those tough issues I've had to face as a published author for teens. Don't get me wrong, young readers are great to talk to you! It just took some time to realize that readers were actually interested in what I had to say that I had to get used to. haha.

Book signings are getting a little easier. Oral interviews still make me nervous. :)

Recently, I've been asked to visit a middle school class for the first time. I've asked the teacher to suggest a couple of topics that she would be interested in me speaking about.

Writing in general?
How I got into writing?
Graffiti Girl or Invisible Touch?

And I'll probably bring some candy.
I have to have something to break the ice, right?

Any suggestions for my class visit? I need all the help I can get! :)

10 fresh comments:

yabooknerd said...

when i do school visits, it really hard for me too but usually i try to connect with the students by a. wearing something completely booknerdy 2. laughing about it 3. asking about what they did for the weekend or if anyone has fun plans coming up 4. then start into talking about me and the otis library. it doesn't always work, but i find if there's a connection on some level, then they're more apt to pay attention to what i might be saying. candy always helps too. good luck!

Alea said...

If an author had come to my school when i was in junior high or high school I think i would have been star struck and it probably would have been to best day of at least that month! I think you will do great, just have fun!

C. Leigh Purtill said...

I've done MG and teen talks - 2 very different species of audience! With MG (like middle school and jr high) they LOVE to ask questions. I spoke to a group of 300 kids and could have answered questions ALL day. With teens, they like to be asked questions (what books are they reading, what are they writing, shows on the internet they like, etc.). Gifts like cookies or candy are great for middle school, teens don't even take postcards. You will have a LOT of fun with a young audience. Try not to plan too much and go with the flow, if you can.

TinaFerraro said...

Great suggestions here. I haven't done a school visit, either. But the one time I spoke to a group of teens, I did a book giveaway and that went over well. Keep us posted, Kelly!

Kelly Parra said...

Ooh, these are all GREAT suggestions, thank you, Everyone!! I do think MGs are a little easier to keep the convo going too.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post that it went well! haha.

Gottawrite Girl said...

Hmmm.... giveaways, a tupperware of cookies... ? a pre-talk cup of coffee?

It's great news, though, congrate!

holly cupala said...

The really amazing author presentations I've seen had a good mix of approachability, humor, and depth, and some visual aid the kids could relate to (journal entries, laminated rejections, school pic, etc.) to break the ice. I'll bet bringing goodies - bookmarks, buttons, etc., will be a big hit, too. I'm taking mental notes from you - hope it goes well!

Mitch Wallace said...

Talking to kids who have read your book must be such a rush! Young people can have such contagious enthusiasm about subjects they enjoy.

As far as suggestions go...I teach drums to kids of all different ages, and whenever I'm meeting them for the first time, I keep things very casual and try to break the ice with some "common ground" discussion: Video games, sports, school, favorite TV shows - anything that gets them talking to me is fair game. And if a kid (or kids, in your case!) senses that they have something in common with me, things lighten up tremendously. After that, it's usually cake to seagueway into the topic at hand.

Kelly Parra said...

Thanks, Guys! Great suggestions!! I'll try to mix it up a little and we'll see how it goes!

valerie hobbs said...

I still get nervous--even though I was a high school teacher years ago. I've put together a powerpoint presentation for school visits that tells how each of my books came to be--mostly out of the raw material of my life. I talk along with the slides. I find that the powerpoint keeps me on track and less nervous. The YA version is a bit racier than the MG one but both tell the truth. Then I field questions.

Hope this helps.