Summer days are for lazing around the pool, going for evening bike rides, and generally slowing down the pace of life, right?
Uh, not here.
I’ve actually been extra-busy lately, not only with writing book #2, but taking Shimmer on the road.
I had an unexpected opportunity to do an author visit to the Tyson Library in Versailles, which in Indiana is actually pronounced ver-sales, not vare-sigh. Sigh.
Regardless of living where they didn’t know how to pronounce French a hundred years ago, I had a lot of fun. It was Tyson Library’s summer reading kickoff and I had an hour to read books to kids from 2-12, so took some favorite picture books, a chapter book, and, of course, Through the Shimmer of Time. I signed books while the kids did crafts and had snacks, and then I taught an hour-long writing workshop to teens and a few adults. We talked about the critical elements of plot (hint: someone wants something they can’t easily get), brainstormed possibilities for adventure and romance and thrillers, and had a great Q&A session.
The next weekend I was at Conner Prairie where I signed books with 4 other writers during the Curiosity Fair. Sarah Morin came dressed as a medieval princess for her Young Adult novel Waking Beauty, and Katie Andrews Potter turned out to be a kindred time-traveler – her Going Over Home is the flip side of mine for a YA/adult audience. Madalyn Kinsey brought The Ghost of Cheeney Creek and Pamela Woods Jackson’s YA, Genius Summer, has a historical element. Really fun to meet like-minded authors!
With thunderstorms predicted, the staff moved us and our books out of the tents and into the Museum Center and boy, were we glad. While we chatted and signed in comfortable air conditioning, people came in from outside red-faced and dripping sweat. I did get to meet a lot of families and some very excited kids, including one who read the whole book while his family was out experiencing the rest of the festival!
The Conner Prairie Gift Shop carries Through the Shimmer of Time, of course, but it’s also available at the Hale Farm and Village near Cleveland and the Heritage Village Museum in Cincinnati. Perhaps I’ll visit festivals there sometime soon!
An unexpected happening: the Indiana State Library is opening a Young Reader’s Center, and they asked if I would donate a signed copy to be displayed there. They’ll also have a copy that circulates. The State Library – how cool is that?
And last, but certainly not least, I’m volunteering at a summer writing program for youth, sponsored through the Indiana Writer’s Center. We focus on narrative non-fiction, which basically means the stories from their own lives. The kids will have a couple writing prompts to choose from each time, and my age group (middle school) will not only create their stories, but have a chance to edit them as well. Each child will have work published in an end-of–session book which will be in public and school libraries and for sale at local bookstores. We’re told the students tend to return to school in the fall with not only greater fluency in writing, but a whole lot more confidence in English class and school in general. What a great program to be involved with!
I’m really enjoying working with kids, both as a mentor and a visiting author. No surprise, really – I spent my early college years majoring in Elementary Education. I hope to fill the fall and spring with school and library visits, so if you’d like me to visit yours, please pass my name along!
Oh, one more thing: Through the Shimmer of Time is now free to read through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime, so if you’re signed up with one of those, happy reading!
And another “one more thing”: Book #2, RESCUE Through the Shimmer of Time, is slated for publication this fall. If you want to stay updated, please sign up for my soon-to-begin newsletter.