October 2019: I had a lot of fun presenting to the 6th grade at Freeport Middle School and for 4th and 5th graders at Biddeford Intermediate School this month. We did my build-a-premise exercise for each group, and the stories these students came up with were amazing! I hope they’ll write them!
Late Spring 2019: I had a lot going on this spring! Near the end of April, I presented at the Maine Reading Round Up Conference for school and youth librarians, and there was awarded the Lupine Award, Maine’s major prize for juvenile/youth adult novels!!! Then I visited the Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth with my castle presentation. In May, I did a full school visit for the Northeast Harbor Library, which is the school library for the middle school across the street. The following weekend, I held my castle presentation for the Turner Public Library. I’ve had Skype visits in the mix, but at this point, my season is done. I’ll be updating the events page in the summer.
Spring 2019: The day after The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter came out, I spoke to 4th graders and a 5th grade class at Great Falls Elementary in Gorham, Maine. I loved hearing those students’ ideas as we created a premise. There were bunnies, a wizard, and an ice dragon involved! I had a great time presenting with Julie Falatko and Jarrett Lerner at Print: A Bookstore the next week. Then a fabulous visit with schools in Jay and Farmington, Maine, in which our premise included knights, evil kings, and squirrels (and one king was after a squirrel’s squirrel girlfriend…). Then my launch party, where fans and I exchanged hugs; and, most recently, a talk at the lovely Ivan O. Davis-Liberty Library in Liberty, Maine, where I talked castles and a group of very talented kids decorated some castle blueprints with great imagination!
Early 2019: I’ve had a lot of Skype events in January and February (including for World Read Aloud Day!), a special Author Lunch at a local school, and am gearing up for some in-person events this spring.
November and December: I presented on Skype these two months, which I love to do! I don’t have a lot of flexibility for live visits, sadly (the consequence of having a day job, though my day job is a very nice one), but I can squeeze in a Skype visit fairly often, which allows me to chat with classrooms here in the U.S. as well as other countries! I had a blast chatting with 5th graders at Dr Morris Gibson School, Okotoks Alberta, Canada; with 4th graders at Central Park Elementary in Plantation, Florida; and with the 6th grade at Columbus Gifted Academy in Columbus, Ohio.
October Events: In early October, I presented in a panel talk with Laura Greenberg and Ginger Johnson, entitled Beyond the Expected: Empowering Kids through Middle Grade Stories. A few weeks later, I presented through Skype to the Mock Newbery Clubs at Lancaster Community Schools and the Ada Christian School.
Autumn Events: One of the highlights of my autumn was an event at my childhood library, the Jesup Memorial Library, where I presented on September 22; it was powerful to be back in that place that had inspired so many of my ideas as a tween and teen writer. Then I was off to the Nerdy Evening with Authors and Illustrators (as part of NerdCamp NNE) on September 28, where I had a great time chatting with young fans, teachers, librarians, and parents. I presented at NerdCamp NNE itself the next day, and right on its heels presented at the Maine Library Association’s national conference October 2: on “ungendering” children’s books. Quite a busy (but so much fun!) few weeks!
September Events: This month began with a really lovely Skype visit to one of Mr. Marsh’s 5th grade classes at Bells Elementary School. Then a talk, reading, and Lego castle event at Barnes & Noble Augusta!
Casco Public Library: I had a great visit and writing workshop with kids at this wonderful rural Maine library. And there was some castle inspiration, of course!
BAM: I saw some old friends and made many new ones at the Books-A-Million panel discussion on kidlit in August. Thanks to all the teachers who attended! It was great to see you there.
Lithgow Library: I love chatting with my readers, and so my time with the Lithgow Public Library’s Rockin’ Readers tween book group in August was wonderful. Kids shared their thoughts, their likes, their advice, and their ideas. And the youth services librarian made this into a truly incredible event with four delicious Scottish desserts (made from scratch!). A blog post will celebrate that appropriately.
Sherman’s Signings: I’ve finished my string of appearances with most of the Sherman’s Bookstores in Maine (I haven’t made it up to the Camden or Bar Harbor stores, but another year, perhaps). I’ve been to Boothbay Harbor, Freeport, Portland, and then Damariscotta. It was great fun to chat with my readers, read aloud to kids, and hear from parents and grandparents their eagerness to share my book with their children and grandchildren. I’m delighted to know that Drest’s story is being read aloud by many different voices.
Postponed Talks: Sadly, even authors get sick. I had to postpone my June 6 and 7 school talks in Jay and Farmington because of illness. I’ll be rescheduling those in the new school year.
Latest Visits: I had a great chat with 6th graders at Greely Middle School on June 13. On May 16 and May 9, I returned to Mast Landing School for Author’s Lunches with 4th graders. Then May 9 and May 11, 2018, were Skype visits with the wonderful 5th grades at Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School in Elburn, IL, and Creek View Elementary School in Alpharetta, GA, where both classes of students asked incredibly good questions.
Author Events: A summary, as I’ve been busy! On April 27, I chatted at Mast Landing School in Freeport, Maine, with a fantastic group of 5th graders and did a wee reading; then on April 28 celebrated Independent Bookstore Day at Briar Patch Books in Bangor, Maine.
Jumping back a bit: On April 12, I spoke to four classes of 6th graders at Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland, Maine; on April 13, I chatted with Mrs. Mooreman’s 5th graders at Orange Brook Elementary School in south Florida by Skype; and on April 18, I visited the Thomas Memorial Library’s Writers Accountability group, then gave a public presentation about villains, heraldry, and Norman castle defenses.
Spring Author Festival: On March 17, I joined a fantastic group of children’s authors (Carol Gordon Ekster, Jannie Ho, Sara Levine, Gina Perry, Heather Lang, Jarrett Lerner, Sarah Jean Horowitz, Jen Petro-Roy, Rob Vlock, Gregory Scott Katsoulis, and Lisa Rosinsky) at the Framingham, MA, Barnes & Noble. I loved talking with the kids who came up to my table—and met quite a few exceptionally strong 9-year-old readers! And it was great fun to meet these other authors (including some I’ve known but online for a long time).
Author Events: I had a wonderful time talking inspiration, tough girl warriors, and all things medieval at Print: A Bookstore on March 14, 2018; then my school author talk at Waynflete School on March 15.
Book Launch Party: Sadly, my book launch party planned for March 7 was cancelled due to the threat of snow. That’s what we deal with in Maine in March (we seem to get a blizzard every year this month).
Media Appearance: I had fun meeting Amanda Hill of 207, a program on WCSH (Channel 6 for locals). I chatted about being a Maine author, my love of Scotland, a bit of what my book’s all about!
WriteOnCon: On February 9 – 11, I was a presenter at this online children’s writers conference with a blog post and more. Great fun!
World Read Aloud Day 2018: It was so much fun to present to schools during World Read Aloud Day (and a few days beyond) this year. I talked with Lindale Middle School in Maryland, Baker Middle School in Michigan, Richmond Hill Elementary School in Georgia, and Wayne Cox Elementary in Texas. Thank you so much to each of those schools. Your 7th and 3rd grade classes and the whole 5th grade I presented to were fantastic. I loved hearing about the books that students are reading, and their great questions.
Author Talk: I was thrilled to have been invited back to Memorial Middle School in South Portland, Maine, on December 6, 2017, to chat with this year’s 6th graders about what it’s like to be an author. This event included a giveaway of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter ARC to one student in each of the five classes I presented to.
Author Talk: December 7, 2016, Memorial Middle School, South Portland, Maine