On Friday, November 22, 2013, I spoke to Ms. Moylan’s 4th grade class at John Green Elementary School in Dublin, CA about my experience of writing and publishing my first novel. But let me back up about two weeks to when I had received my ‘proof’ copy of my novel, The Keepers of Éire, and shared it with some friends. That’s when Jake asked me if I’d come talk to his class about being an author. Needless to say, I was thrilled. I’d get to talk to youngsters about the importance of reading, studying punctuation and grammar, and research.
Of course I was a bit nervous, after all, my novel is written for adults. What would I say? I decided I’d bring some props (several dragons from my collection & some of the books I enjoyed reading as a youngster) and emphasize using your imagination. I tailored my discussion to include:
- Write what you know or what interests you
- The main elements of a story
- Reading & research
I talked for about 20 minutes and then opening it up for questions and answers. The students asked some well-thought-out questions, such as: What are the steps to getting a book published? What are my favorite types of books to read? What does my writing day consist of and where do I typically write? Why do I write under a pen name? And my favorite: Who inspires you as a writer? Perhaps I’ll answer these questions in a post.
I was able to video the first 10 minutes of my talk (not the part where I had the students close their eyes while I read a paragraph about one of the dragons and asked if they could imagine the dragon, or the Q&A session. Bummer).
Check out my video here.