The Importance of Author School Visits

This excellent post from Nerdy Book Club reminds me once again of the importance of author school visits. The post is written by a teacher, describing the enormous impact an author can have on a school – teachers discussing the presentation, students lining up to read, and students determined to write and illustrate their own work.

As a children’s author, I see this from the other side. I can attest to the rapt joy on a child’s face when they are given a glimpse into the world of story. I’ve exchanged correspondence with more than one reader fan after a school visit, and have watched from afar as that child matures into a serious writer. I know that by bringing my love of story-telling into a classroom I’m having a profound impact that will ripple for a long time.

One of the messages I bring to kids is that we each have our own unique story to tell. At a recent school visit, as I said this and pointed to kids, telling them that, yes, “You and you and you each have your own story to give to the world,” one boy shook his head, no. How will he learn to believe in himself without examples? I hope that by the end of my talk, as I gave him tools by which to find his voice, he felt differently. I know that just by being there, as a published writer with a love of expression (and as a former teacher), I offered a very different way of seeing reading and writing than what can be delivered through lessons and homework.

There are so many ways for teachers and librarians to raise funds for author school visits. Here are just a few links:

Funding for school visits

21 ways to fund school visits

If you are a teacher or librarian, please contact me with questions.


Oh, Frabjous Day!

Some really wonderful (frabjous!) news…………………


Contract for THE LAST TRUE KNIGHT – yay!

First, I’ve signed the contract for THE LAST TRUE KNIGHT. I’m very proud of this story. A girl who has visions, her brother who has been kidnapped, a mysterious knight, witchcraft, belief, a country in jeopardy, magic, dragons, the stars………………..


Another contract, for………..!

Second, I signed another contract that I can’t reveal just yet but is something dear to my heart. Let’s just say there’s a debut picture book in the works.



And finally, this.

Yes, an award, and such a special award it is. It is the acclimation of my peers, with the awarding of the Crystal Kite Award for THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE, in the western states region.

This means so, so much to me. Especially since it’s from members of SCBWI, the organization that is the foundation of my career. I look forward to celebrating this wonderful award with Montana SCBWI members, and beyond.

Thank you all. Because without you – readers and fans – I wouldn’t be sending new books out into the world. I wouldn’t be deeply thrilled by awards, like the Crystal Kite.

So, THANK YOU!! I love you all!!

Beckoning All Good Things

Some days are like that. You swing from one emotion to the next. And then you stop and take stock and realize there are lessons to be learned. Last Saturday was one of those. It was Indie Bookstore Day, and I was fortunate to be a guest … [Continue reading]

Sometimes, Silence Is Required

I'm in the midst of a difficult revision. Difficult, because like many of you, I'm very distracted by the world's goings-on. And difficult also because I've been challenged to amp up the work with this next draft. To go deeper, exploring characters … [Continue reading]