I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to visit some really awesome schools this past week. I had kind of figured I was done for the year, but luckily my schedule opened up.
On Wednesday I spent the day at Taylor, Reading, Holt, and Creekside Elementary schools throughout Clearfield, Kaysville, and Centerville. It was a blast! This was one of the first times I have ever stayed after at a school to go visit some of the kids in their classrooms. Their questions were awesome. They asked me how I got started in writing, what my favorite color was, where I came up with the names for my characters, and of course what day was my birthday. You know, the essentials! The Bountiful Deseret Book tagged along with me the whole day selling books to kids at the schools. I was able to hang out and do some impromptu signings as well.
It was a busy day, but I realized that presenting at the schools is one of my favorite things to do. There's nothing that can match the rush of having 500 kids laughing at something you've written. At Taylor Elementary, most of the kids had already read Hashbrown and that was a unique opportunity for me. Usually, I'm the first to tell them about my story. I was completely surprised that there were actually kids out there that were reading it at school! Also, I got to hang out with Christen Rast of the Davis school district. She was awesome! She kept me on schedule and kept me company in between schools. Very cool. I had a book signing at the Deseret Book in Bountiful that night to end my busy day.
On Thursday, I visited Cook, Centerville, and West Bountiful Elementary schools. Again, this was a fantastic day. At Cook, I had a lot of down time waiting for my next school, so I spent that time in the library chatting with the fourth and fifth graders. After words, I ate some pizza with the top A.R. (Advanced Reading) students of the school. We laughed a ton and some of us fell out of our chairs. Good times! Centerville was the school where Christen Rast's kids attended and I got to play a practical joke on her 6th grade daughter in front of the whole assembly. Needless to say, that was one of the highlights of my Davis tour. Oh, and I also got to sign the librarian, Mrs. Rawlin's, reading statue which was an honor in and of itself. My name was somewhat close to Brandon Mull's!
I finished the afternoon at West Bountiful and then it was off to East Layton Elementary's Literacy Night. That was awesome! (I say that word a lot) There were tons of kids and parents there for my presentation. Tamara the librarian flat out rocks! She makes me feel like a rock star. I signed a ton of books and it was so exciting to see kids getting geared up for book 2.
Then on Friday night, I had a book signing at the Layton Barnes and Noble where I got to hang with Lisa Mangum, author of The Hourglass Door. Wow! What a week. I love the fact that I get to do this from time to time. To top off my week, I received a really amazing e-mail in my inbox from a teacher in Sandy. She told me how much her students loved Hashbrown and how some of them were getting excited about writing their own stories. One girl had already started on The Adventures of Snow Cone Jones. I was literally blown away. Wow! What a week. I love the fact that I get to do this from time to time.
Oh, I almost forgot. On Saturday, David Archuleta came and did a signing at my store. It was absolute mayhem, but I did get to sneak a copy of Hashbrown into his gift basket. :)