July, 2012

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Avoid Isolation by Conducting Author Visits by GAP Author Donna McDine



By Donna M. McDine

Your writing career is moving at a steady pace, but from time-to-time, the feeling of isolation overwhelms you. What is a writer to do to get one’s self out into the world of the living, but not neglect your writing goals?  One of the best ways to get yourself known locally as a serious writer would be to participate in author visits to elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in your area – depending on what genre you write for. Also check out your local library and bookstores – they too may be interested in having you conduct an event. Presenting your short story or non-fiction article for children’s magazines can be fun way to present the creative writing process to children of all ages without overwhelming them. And since you are writing for children, why not spend time with them? 

It can be daunting to research school visits, considering the Internet comes up with over 2 million hits when typing in “School Author Visits.”  Why not check out the following resources:

1.      Local Schools – Contact an elementary school in your area and find out whom you need to present your school visit request to. The school secretaries are happy to point you in the right direction, whether it is the principal, PTA or program coordinator of the school. IMPORTANT: Keep in mind you don’t necessarily need to have a published book to conduct a school visit. You may be able to present a published short story or non-fiction article to the class. In addition, let the school know that you can meet with respective teachers and conform the event to coincide with their ELA State Assessment Guidelines.

2.      Your network of fellow writers– We are all cheering for one another and I’m sure your network would be happy to discuss their ideas of school visits. If you are just starting out, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators – http://www.scbwi.org, has a wealth of information on all topics for writing for children.

3.      Local Librarian – I have had wonderful success in becoming “buddies” with my local librarian. They are a chock full of information when it comes to conducting events for children. You never know, they may be so impressed with your initiative that they may request that you conduct a visit at their library. What better way to keep children inspired to read by meeting a local writer living in their midst?

4.      Local Bookstores – Approach the manager or owner to see if they would be interested in having you conduct an author visit. If they are, obtain their guidelines for conducting such a visit and tell them that you will get back to them with your proposal / school visit kit. Be sure to leave your business card with them.

Put yourself out there…it will not only be fun for the children but for yourself!

About the author:

Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author. Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna has four more books under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing, Hockey Agony, Powder Monkey, A Sandy Grave, and Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is the Editor-in-Chief for Guardian Angel Kids and owner of Author PR Services from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Working Writer’s Club, and Family Reading Partnership. Visit www.donnamcdine.com.


Congratulations on the release of Cobbledom’s Curse (Book 2 Klutzy Kantor Series). Please tell us more about it.
About the book:
Laced with humor and a message to put other’s desires above one’s own the book is an example of self sacrifice and true friendship. Reluctant readers will snap up the book and discover the fun reading can be.
What was the inspiration for this book?

Jessica: My sister was the inspiration for the main character, Klutzy Kantor, of the series, because he’s a total klutz and brilliant. This book focuses on a curse, and a friend’s selflessness to end the curse. I’ve got two nephews cursed with an addiction to heroin, and I’d sacrifice anything for them to get sober.
What is your favorite moment from the book?

Jessica: When Kantor sacrifices his wish so that Spystar’s wish would be granted.
Is this your first published book?

Jessica: No, it’s my fifth with Guardian Angel Publishing.
We’d love to hear more about you.

I’m the differently-abled writer & speaker, a ventilator dependent quadriplegic. I love to give inspirational speeches. As a speaker, I entertain, instruct, motivate and inspire audiences of all ages by focusing on what I CAN do instead of CAN’T. I surround myself with family, friends and positivity in Texas, the friendly state. I’ve written four other picture books, Klutzy Kantor, Stella the Fire Farting Dragon, and Marta’s Gargantuan Wings, and Buster Bear & Uncle B published by Guardian Angel Publishing.
Visit my website at www.jadykennedy.com for FREE Teacher’s Guides and coloring pages.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming Cobbledom’s Curse (Book 2 Klutzy Kantor Series) events?
Author: Visit my website at www.jadaykennedy.com
Thank you for stopping in to share Cobbledom’s Curse (Book 2 Klutzy Kantor Series).

 with us. Readers can buy their copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing


Congratulations on the release of MY TOOTH IS LOOSE. Please tell us more about it.
About the book:  Although this book is included in THE SUM OF OUR PARTS series, it is a bit of a departure from the standard anatomical content of the other books in the series.  Instead of being a non-fiction rhyme about a particular body system, the book uses an up-front rhyming story to cover the subject of teeth.  Most of us likely recall the first tooth we pulled as a child.  And more importantly, we remember the “how”, as if it were yesterday.  This book tells one such story about a boy losing his first tooth.
What was the inspiration for this book?

Bill:  I’d have to say our grandson, Dylan, got me to thinking about the whole idea when his first tooth began to wiggle.  Originally, I had written the book as a stand-alone story for anyone who has lost a tooth or is about to.  When I sent the manuscript to Lynda Burch, she immediately saw the best “fit” as being part of my anatomical series.  So, that’s where it landed.
What is your favorite moment from the book?

Bill:  I’d have to say my favorite moment is when the older brother prepares the main character for the “string on the door knob” trick.  Here’s the verse:
Then I felt a piece of string.
(Yikes! This trick seems ruthless!)
“Close your eyes,” I heard him say.
“You will soon be toothless!”
You’ll have to read the story to find out if this time-tested method works this time.
My daughter could answer that, but it sounds like reading the book would be way more fun.

This doesn’t sound like your first published book.

Bill:  No.  This book is number nine.  It is the fifth book in the anatomical series (all illustrated by Eugene Ruble).  It joins four other fiction stories, also written in rhyme, and illustrated by some terrific artists.  All my books have been published by Guardian Angel Publishing.  It’s been a lot of fun seeing each book take form.
We’d love to hear more about you, Bill.
Let’s see.  It might be easier to start now and go backward.  I’m currently retired from my professional life, having completed two careers.  But I must admit to feeling even busier now than I have ever been.  In addition to writing and promoting my books, I’m having fun as a Scoutmaster in a Boy Scout Troop.  We meet weekly and our Troop goes camping or backpacking at least once a month.  Last summer a small group of us spent six days backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail near Lake Tahoe.
I’m also a Deacon at Faith Presbyterian Church in Sacramento and, in my spare time, I am a Massage Therapist, working just enough to keep my hands in the business, so to speak.  When I can manage it, I like to run pretty much anywhere I have a chance, although the distances seem to be getting shorter lately. 
In my professional life, most recently I worked for the State of California for 19 years in the Child Support Program and as a research manager in the Department of Social Services, where I retired four years ago.  Before my state career, I was an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. 
I grew up in an Air Force family with three younger sisters.  My youth was spent on the move from Germany to Arizona, Florida to Washington DC, Bolivia to Georgia.  Then it was back to Germany, France, North Dakota and Florida again before joining the Air Force myself.  After living in California for 27 years, my wife and I are on the verge of picking up stakes and moving back to Florida.  We have two children and four grandchildren, split between California and South Carolina.
Wow, you know how to live a full life. And 20 years as an Intelligence Officer!?

Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for MY TOOTH IS LOOSE?
Bill:  In March I did a book signing at a local novelty store called “Imagine That Gifts and Home Décor” as the only author with books offered by the store.  Looking ahead, I’m working with a branch of the Sacramento Public Library to do readings of “My Tooth Is Loose” and several others of my books this summer.  Wherever I travel—most recently to Minnesota and North Dakota, I feel like a literary version of Johnnie Appleseed, dropping books and business cards all over the country.  
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming MY TOOTH IS LOOSE events?
Bill:  The easiest way is to visit my website at http://www.billkirkwrites.comwhere all my books and other writings are presented.  I also have a blog dedicated to all aspects of the writing craft at http://billkirkwrites.blogspot.comand a second blog specifically highlighting THE SUM OF OUR PARTS at http://billkirkwrites-tsoop.blogspot.com.
Thank you for stopping in to share MY TOOTH IS LOOSE with us. Readers can order their copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing.
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