Friday the PTA at my kid's elementary school did a really cool thing. In an effort to encourage reading, the PTA brought in author Phil Bildner to speak to the students and in my opinion, it was well worth the expense and effort (and tired feet from the woman who tried not to burn the popcorn all day). As an author of children's picture books and middle-grade chapter books, of course, he was speaking to the perfect audience; as a former schoolteacher, he was an engaging, if not energetic (he sure paced a lot!) speaker who kept their rapt attention for an hour at each presentation.
So why am I blogging about this, besides the obvious--that I love meeting any author who's "made it"and hope a little of that successful hard work and little bit of luck will wear off on me, too? Previously, the only author's presentations I've heard have been John Erickson (think Hank the Cowdog) who was last year's author for this same even, and now Phil's, so mentally, I'm taking notes. Because just maybe someday I'll get the opportunity to speak to groups about the writing and publishing process.
Some subjects he talked about were: the editing process, working with an illustrator, and his friend's dog. That was interesting--not everything related to his sports-themed books, but it was something his audience would appreciate (what elementary child doesn't like pictures of cute dogs). He used slideshows and videos (perfect, so I don't have to just stand up there and talk--boring). And he mentioned his writing group--yay for writing groups! In fact, that and New York were what he and I talked about most when I shared a table with him at lunch. By the way, who serves hamburgers without offering ketchup? He didn't complain, but I did.
I enjoyed meeting and listening to Phil Bildner and look forward to being able to travel to promote my own books sometime in the near future!!