My First School Visit


Today I was the mystery guest at my son’s school.  It was the first time that I have ever read one of my stories to:

  • (a) unrelated children; and
  • (b) unrelated, not previously paid children.

In a nutshell, it was a big day.  And it was a ton of fun!

I started with a quick PowerPoint™ presentation explaining how I became a writer.


Then, I talked about the revision process, and how writers have good days, bad days, and sometimes very bad days.  But the key is persistence!  I think the kids may have been surprised to learn that it took me about six years to revise, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books Fall 2015).

I also spent quite a bit of time talking about rejections.  Maybe a lot of time since it’s a concept with which I am very familiar.   🙂

Finally, I put on my witch hat before reading, Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, illustrated by Chris Ewald (Creston Books Spring 2015).


Why the witch hat?  Good question.  Two reasons.  First, Hildie is about a crabby old witch and of course, a witch story deserves a properly attired reader.  Second, when I attended one of the SCBWI conferences, Peter Sís mentioned that one bookstore owner encouraged him to bring props, like a stuffed parrot, in case his reading didn’t go well.  So, I figured if all else failed we could talk about the hat, or even play catch.  I wanted to be prepared.  I also didn’t have a stuffed parrot. 🙂

I am so looking forward to my next school visit.  Hoping that I’ll have some Hildie sketches to share with the kids next time.  What a great day!


25 comments on “My First School Visit

    • Jon, I hope Noah enjoyed it. He’s heard Hildie a gazillion times. So, it wasn’t new for him. Although he had not seen the PowerPoint before. I’ll find out his reaction at pick up. 🙂

  1. Wish I could have been a pickle, I mean fly, on the wall! Sounds like a wonderful visit and the first of many to come. What a treat for your son and his classmates.

  2. Sounds like you had a great day with the class. Think it’s important for kids to know about how failure makes us stronger and now you have a book coming out. Hope Noah had a good time sharing his mom! Great prop idea!

    • It was a ton of fun Sarah! Noah was in pretty good spirits when I picked him up from school. So, I’ll take it as a good sign. 🙂

    • Darlene, Thanks so much for popping by. I really enjoyed the visit. Sorry I forgot to send you the post. It’s been a crazy week (not in a good way). Will try to remember to email the next one.

  3. Wow, your first book. How exciting. I hope the kids enjoyed you as much a you enjoyed them. Is visiting schools as terrifying as it sounds? I cannot image it, not yet anyway.Congratulations on your two releases. Bug me for reviews.

    • Sue, the visit was just pure fun! The kids were great. I was very nervous and I think I spoke a bit too quickly, but aside from that I think things went well. (Will remember to s l o w down next time.) 🙂 Will definitely think of you for reviews. Thank you! Unfortunately, have to wait till next year.

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