Monday, March 28, 2011
It's always wonderful to see your books in schools, libraries and bookshops. It's nice to know people read them. Once my son was on a train on his way back from Melbourne and a young girl opposite him was reading my book, 'Quizzical'. He was pretty blown away by that. I'm sure he thought nobody would ever read my books. After all, he didn't! But then he's not into books, unlike my youngest son, who's eleven. He absolutely loves books, and reads religiously for up to an hour each night before bed. I've found the libraries extremely supportive of my books. Some even have them on standing order. That's when, as soon as a book is released by a particular author, they automatically order them in. Some libraries in Melbourne, Queensland and Sydney have multiple copies of my books, and in one library in particular (The Hills Shire Library) my books are consistently booked out. As an author, this is very heartening to see! So, to all the libraries that support authors like me, and especially those who are prepared to give new authors a go, thankyou! It is appreciated more than you know!
I know I've said this before ... lots ... but I love author visits to schools and libraries! And I have several coming up in the next few weeks, which I'm really looking forward to. Each school is different, some are big, some are small, but no matter how big or small, in every school I've visited so far, I am always made to feel welcome. The teachers are always friendly and welcoming, and the children delightful. A typical session of mine will include some information about myself and my books, and background on how a book is put together. I'm sure that when you go into a bookshop or library, the last thing you think about is the process behind how a book is made. But, take it from me, it's very interesting. I use examples from the different stages of my latest book, Puzzle Palace. Then, after some question time, we launch into 'Interactive Quizzical', the quiz show I bring into the classroom (or library) to help promote literacy and to encourage student participation in a fun way. The questions are designed to promote thinking, but they're not hard - some are probably even too easy, but I'd rather students know the answer to an easy question than struggle and subsequently feel embarrassed if they are thrown a question that's too hard - and the emphasis is never about winning, it's about getting up and having a go. Instead of giving prizes to the winners I hand out raffle tickets at the start of the session, and at the end of the session we have a draw for spot prizes, where everyone has an equal chance of winning something. It's a lot of fun! And it's one of my favourite things about being an author!