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Engaging Your Reader with an Author Visit

Visiting a local school

Visiting a local school

DSC01707A couple of months ago, a local school librarian  contacted me about the book club reading The Waiting Booth. Each student would receive a copy of the book to read and keep. She asked if I would like to visit with the club after they finished. I joyfully agreed. I was excited at the prospect of talking with teens about writing and my book.

When I calmed down, I began to get nervous. It would be my first author visit.  My mind went blank, and I broke out into a sweat. It was several weeks away, but I wanted to be prepared.

So, I researched online to see what other authors were doing in visits with book clubs. I decided that I needed a handout with discussion prompts. I prepared a sheet and sent it to the librarian ahead of time for her to preview.

The students were engaged and ready to ask questions. I knew that my prompts were simply a backup. They asked very specific questions about the plot and characters in The Waiting Booth. They also wanted to hear about  my path and process as a writer.

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the questions they asked. They asked questions that weren’t on my discussion guide. Afterwards, a budding writer in the class ran to get her brief synopsis and asked me to read it. The event made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I volunteered to visit, but some speakers can get paid for these events. I can’t think of a better way to be of service to your community, schools, and readers.

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The Waiting Booth Discussion Guide

I’d like to share my discussion guide with you in case you think you might need one for your book. Book clubs exist in many large cities and online. Click on the image to access the full-size pdf. I created my guide in Microsoft Publisher and uploaded to Google Docs for easy access on the web. I now have this available as a link on my website.

Before I leave, I’d like to thank Gloria for having me as a guest this year. Gloria might have said, “You are welcome in  my home (blog). Hang from the ceiling or raid the fridge. I trust you’ll make yourself comfortable ” That’s a paraphrase, but you get the picture. I’ve made lots of new friends here that I wouldn’t know otherwise. Additionally, Gloria has supported my work as a writer.  So, thank you Gloria. I wish you and all your readers a wonderful holiday season. There’s a reader appreciation giveaway on my blog at THIS LINK with lots of chances to win gift cards and other prizes. So, drop by after you leave a comment here.

Have you ever attended a book club discussion or author talk? Have big plans for the holidays?  Wish you could raid Gloria’s virtual fridge?

BIO: Brinda lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.

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