It appears I have a new authorly addiction: Skyping with students. In the last month or so, I've been lucky enough to have a Skype author visit with students almost every Friday. Forget chicken soup for the writer's soul--these chats are RED BULL for this writer's soul!
A month ago, I talked with students at Yes! Prep Gulfton (in Houston) which is in the same neighborhood as Chavez High School, where I taught six years ago. In the past two weeks, I've made new friends through chats with book clubs in Georgia and Kentucky, both of which were reading What Can't Wait because it was one of the recommended books on their state's reading lists. (Yay for the awesome librarians who made this happen!)
I do charge for the Skype chats (we have to pay for Liam's daycare somehow), but I am pretty sure I enjoy the experiences at least as much as the students do. They remind me that there are real students out there (some of whom rarely finish a book) who are benefiting from my labors. And their stories and questions send me back to my work revising novel #3 with a sense of urgency, excitement, and energy.
The only downside of Skype is that I haven't mastered the virtual hug. But otherwise--amazing.
There it is, What Can't Wait, my first-born, looking sweet on a Houston book shelf. It's also the focus of attention--after being elbowed aside by her loud and proud little brother, The Knife and the Butterfly, who has been getting a lot of attention lately.
Here's a bit:
Writing for my students gave me a sense of urgency when I first began. I wasn’t just telling a story for myself; I was writing it because it mattered to them. And one of the best parts of writing with a very specific audience in mind was that they told me what they thought. I had a stack of manuscripts in my classroom, and students would write me notes about what they liked, what they didn’t, what I should change, and so on.
Most of the time, I knew who was reading my novel. I’d see the pages turning and get excited. But I also had a few clandestine readers. Like Anthony...
You should check the whole post out here. I tell one of my favorite stories about Anthony, a clandestine (guy) reader... and thanks to one of his recent Facebook posts, I was even able to include a photo of the goofy end-of-year certificate I awarded to him.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway! What Can't Wait could be yours.
Nothing like waking up and finding a big heap of love in your mailbox. That was me today, getting news that the fantastic YA lit website, Finding Wonderland, had posted this feature review on What Can't Wait. Please paint me ecstatic!
(Thank you, spell check, for helping me spell "ecstatic.")
If you have a moment, please swing by Finding Wonderland to comment on the review .