I don’t quite know what to call it. I guess a series of author visits is fine. Either way, I’ve now visited two schools in the area, the first was Cortina Elementary and the second was Jefferson Elementary and I have been having a BLAST! Okay, not only do I get to miss school (a very BIG plus – and hey, my teachers are okay with it for the most part!), but I get to actually talk to people who have read my book! I mean, seriously, I can’t begin to explain to you how cool that is!
So, first one I did was on February 13th, at Cortina Elementary. I owe it to my nine-year-old brother who went up to his librarian and bragged about me. The librarian was impressed and setup a visit for me. That day, I only did one class, which was my brother’s third grade class. You know, at that age they’re just getting into reading chapter books, so they were very interested in it and excited. I was nervous at first, having to talk in front of a class, but once I started, it was really easy. My presentation is on a powerpoint and it lasts about a half-hour (maybe longer) and then the kids ask questions afterwards which may bump it up to forty, fifty or even an hour of presenting. Ten minutes before doing this presentation, I told my mom about an idea to give out bookmarks. Thankfully, I already had a web banner ad on the computer which worked perfect as a bookmark. We rushed to get them done and did them on cardstock. They looked decent for coming off a home printer, but I knew that I would have to do a better job next time around. Anyway, the bookmarks paid off. As I was leaving, a girl asked for my autograph on her bookmark which sparked a rabid sea of other kids crowding around me. I think the teachers was momentarily stunned. They quickly got in a line, and I spent a long time signing.
So, a week ago, I got a call from the librarian at Jefferson Elementary who had been told by a teacher who had been told by Cortina’s librarian that I wrote a book and that I did a presentation. Thankfully, they wanted me to do the same for them, and man – IT WAS FUN!
This time, we were equipped with nicely-done bookmarks. I knew that we would have close to 300 or more (I never did get the exact count) people in attendance. I ended up doing two presentations back-to-back, one for the fourth graders and the second for fifth and sixth graders. So, when we got to the office (my mom and I), the secretary knew who we were right away. I guess the news was going around school that an author was coming to do a presentation. After that, the librarian showed up along with another teacher. Acompanying them was a younger kid named Saul Marquez! His cousin (I think it was cousin, maybe brother, but I’m pretty sure cousin) was also a Marquez. They showed me outto the front of the school to view the school’s marquee which said: WELCOME AUTHOR, SAUL MARQUEZ. My mom and I had missed it as we arrived because we had come in from the back of the school and not the front. (Picture of the marquee above). Saul’s mom was also there to see my presentation (I thought that was cool – parents coming to see me!). I think the coolest sign, though, was one that one of the teachers took time to do, below.
(Saul and his cousin and me in front of the sign of awesome)
I saw it and my jaw dropped because I noticed that the wording mimicked the font I used on the cover and it had some important symbols that are used in the Solar Stone Code. The teacher told me that she stayed up until 2:30 in the morning to read my book! I WAS SHOCKED! I stay up extremely late to finish reading books by other authors. IT WAS SO COOL TO HEAR THAT SOMEONE DID THAT WITH SOMETHING I WROTE! just can’t get over it! She said it was really good and even told me that, with the whole symbol thing, “it’s like a DaVinci Code for children.” She was also anxious to read book two, which I told her was near completion.
So finally, after all of that, there was ONE MORE SIGN! A giant one in the library that read, “Welcome Guest Author, Saul Marquez – picture at the end). So, after that, I got started on the presentation which went better than I could have imagined. The kids were really into it. Afterward, I signed bookmarks, there was a large line (pictures at the end). Soon after, I did the same with the fifth and sixth graders. There was a small technical issue in the middle of the presentation (the laptop battery died, but they brought it back up). More autographs, and that was that.
It felt really cool getting to meet all of those teachers at Jefferson. They weren’t the only ones in attendance. All of the library staff was there and wanted my signature and even the writing teacher who told me that she was going to take notes on what I said. HOLD ON! A teacher is taking notes on something that I’m teaching?!?!? Hold on – wait one second! Don’t I usually take notes on the things teachers are teaching? My mom also told me that after I shook the writing teacher’s hand, she said, “I’m never washing this hand again.” I didn’t hear it, but I thought that was pretty funny. And again, I’m in awe that a teacher stayed up late to read something I wrote. It’s just mind boggling to me!
Anyway, that was my awesome day (two days actually, I’ve felt on top of the world after both of these schools). I talked to Mrs. Calahan down at Shepherd Jr. High. I may be doing something there in a couple months. It’s still in the air. I also hope to do one at Red Mt. Ranch Elementary, because that’s where I started writing and it would be really cool to go back.
Oh yes – and Space Dog book 2 is now at 411 pages! I think I have less than 50 left, so I’m getting excited. I’m going to have to do something big to kick off it’s release (hopefully this summer). And I may be revealing its title soon. Although, my friends still need to read the book! Thankfully, all of your orders are coming in, apparently, tomorrow. As for everyone else on the interweb, check it out at Amazon. And Andrew Sims from the infamous MuggleCast and Imprint podcasts is doing me a very kind favor in mentioning my book on the Imprint (Twilight) podcast which reaches thousands of ears. So thank you!
And onto some pictrues to wrap this up. 🙂