School Visits & Presentations - Part 3 - Your Published Work

Monday, August 15, 2011

In the previous posts we've discussed questions to incorporate into author/illustrator presentations.  Part 1 covered Your Own Personal Story and Part 2  talked about How you work. Today, we'll discuss Your Published Work.

Here are some questions & answers to consider incorporating in your next presentation:

Your Published Work
What was your first book?
How many books have you written/illustrated?
How did you get the job? And/or find the publisher?
How did it feel when you were told it would be published?
How did it feel when you saw your book for the first time?
How did you work with the illustrator (if appropriate)?
Where did you get your idea for the book?
How many times did you have to rewrite it before it was published?
How long did it take to write the story?
Where you told what the characters should be or did you decide for yourself?
How did you decide what the characters would look like?
How do you decide what else to put in the picture?
Do you have the original drawings for the book?
Do you like the way the finished book looks?
Did you have to change anything about the story?
Are you writing a sequal?
What will your next book be?
When will it come out?

Incorporate some of the answers to these question into your presentations and you'll have enhanced your presention to gold star status.

Now you know the 3 things audiences expect from an author or illustrator presentation: Part 1 - Your Personal Story, Part 2 - How You Work and Part 3 Your Published Work/s

Hopefully, these suggestion have inspired you to beef up your presentation.

School Visits & Presentations - Part 2 - How You Work

Friday, August 12, 2011

In a previous post - Part 1 -  Your Personal Story, I shared questions to answer for dynamic school visits and presentations.

Today we'll discuss  Part 2 - How You Work

I can pretty much guarantee that your audience, whether senior citizens, PTA parents or children in schools, will all want to know how you as an author or illustrator work. So here are some questions to consider answering to beef up the quality of your presentation:

Part 2 - How You Work As A Writer or Illustrator:

Where do your ideas come from?
Do you outline first?
Do you have anyone check your story before you send it to a publisher?
How do you know you're idea is good enough to publish?
How do you decide what kind of book to write?
Do you work in a quite atmosphere or do you need music in the background? a crowd in a coffee shop?
What do you use for inspiration?
Have you ever had writer's block? If so, how did you get out of it?
Do you write every day?
How many hours a day do you write?
Have you ever had a story rejected?
How does it feel to get rejected?
How many rejections have you received?
Have you ever won any awards?
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
What is the easiest?
How many books have you had published?
How do you/did you find a publisher?
Did you have to choose your own illustrator?
What advice can you give to an inspiring writer?

Where do your ideas come from?
What medium do you use most often?
What is your favorite medium to use?
Do you sketch things first in pencil or marker?
What size drawing do you do to illustrate a book?
How many sketches do you do before you decide which one will be in the book?
What kind of research do you have to do to illustrate a book?
Do you work with the author when you illustrate a book?
How do you know how many illustrations are needed for a book?
Do you get to choose how many illustrations to do or does someone tell you how many?
What medium do you use with a finished illustration?
Do you get to keep the illustrations after they are put in a book?
Where do you work?
What does your office look like?
Do you work in a quiet atmosphere or do you have music playing in the background?
If you listen to music at work, what kind of music inspires your images?
Have your illustrations ever won any awards?
What happens if the author doesn't like your illustrations?
Has that ever happend to you?

Answers to all or some of these questions mixed with anecdotes and personal stories will enhance your presentation immensely.

Stay tuned for Part 3 - Your Published Work - on Monday

School Visits & Presentations- Part 1 - Your Personal Story

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One of the perks, at least in my mind, of being a published author, is sharing the work you love with others.  You don't have to be a children's author or illustrator to do it. So don't panic when the call comes. You've lots to share.

I believe that audiences in general as well as educators and students are looking for 3 basic things from a visiting author or illustrator. They want to know about 1) Your personal story 2) Your published work, and 3) Your process or How you work.

Incorporate these three elements into your presentation to give your audience a dynamic experience.

Part 1 - Your Personal Story 
Did you always want to be a writer/illustrator?
How old were you when you knew you wanted to write/illustrate?
Did you go to college or take extra classes to learn how to write/illustrate?
Does anyone else in your family write/illustrate?
Where do you write?
What does your office look like?
When do you write? How many hours a day?
What is the best part about being a writer/illustrator?
Who is your favorite author/illustrator?
Who encouraged you to be a writer?
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Why do you write?
Does writing/illustrating come easy to you?
Do you write/illustrate in more than one field?

Incorporate the answers to all or part of these questions in your presentation and you'll be on your way to a dynamite school visit experience.

Writing Can Be DANGEROUS to Your Health!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Have you been sitting for unusually long periods of time?" the doctor asked.

Well, yeah! I'm doing a complete rewrite of a novel and I can't do that standing. That's not the way I explained myself to him. I was more polite than that. The fact is, I have been sitting and sitting and sitting. Now, I have what's called, "I.T. Band Friction Syndrome" which means that my right leg hurts like H### and I can hardly walk.

The cure? Don't sit for long periods, do a series of painful stretching exercises and even more painful, roll a hard foam roller up and down your leg several times a day. Try that without screaming.

Well, since I refuse to give up progress on my novel rewrite, I had to come up with a less stressful, less painful way of sitting. So, guess what I did? I got on the ball...literally! I chased the dust bunnies off the 26" exercise ball that was wedged in between my StairMaster and Total Gym, pumped it up and began using it as a chair. Surprisingly, it worked! Not only has it helped my leg problem, it's also strengthened my stomach muscles which in turn helped my aching back. The bonus is ideas now roll around or bounce around my brain in unison with my body. (Bounce--get it? You can bounce while you think.)

So, if you have trouble putting your BUTT IN CHAIR to get projects done, try BUTT ON BALL instead. You just might find it as therapeutic I did. Caution: Just don't nod off to sleep on it. You'll be launched across the room so fast you won't know what hit you.

Has writing been hazardous to your health? Please share.

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About Me

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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