Thursday, August 23, 2007

Author Visit II

Yesterday was the Eastern suburbs of Perth - All the visits took place in public libraries, and a couple of sessions were pretty much 40-45 minutes of full-on questions-and-answers. Always good to have questions - it's better than not-so-subtle yawns.

I often ask how many of the kids have written stories on their own time, as opposed to class-imposed homework, and I often see two or three hands go up. Those are the writers of the future, folks, and it's a shame publishers aren't in there giving out how-to-write books the way engineering and computing firms sponsor and mentor bright kids in those disciplines.

And school librarians ... maybe get in a couple of how-to-write books if you don't already have them. Find out which kids like writing, and become a Giles to their Buffy. Maybe they won't fight real vampires, but they can certainly write about them.

I also spent a quiet hour between sessions at one of the libraries, where I discovered the librarian attended WAIT/Curtin uni during the same years I was there - and also did LLC with June Parsons. We almost certainly attended the same lectures, too. (And for anyone who did English/Library studies/Town Planning or Architecture, my mum used to work out of the office in the Architecture building in the mid-late 80's.)

Has anyone reading this done an author visit? Or hosted an author at your school? Spill the goss in comments, good or bad. (If bad, maybe give the author the benefit of anonymity ... especially if you're talking about me...)

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


WordVixen said...

Interesting idea- now I'm wondering if there's a "how to write" book aimed at kids.

Simon Haynes said...

I have a copy of "Writing from start to finish" by Kate Grenville, and it says on the back it's ideal for high school and 'students of all ages'.

Susan Flemming said...

I hesitate to call mine author visits because I don't have a published children's book, but there was a time several years ago when our children were younger, I would volunteer to read my children's stories to Grades 1, 2 and 3 classes. I would also sometimes read our family's favourite picture and earlier reader books. (Canada has amazing children's writers and illustrators)

I had a blast doing those readings. And for some sessions, the classes and I would "write" a story. We'd start with a character and a problem and then the children would come up with a solution. We had some pretty wacky stories... but we sure had a lot of fun writing them.

Simon Haynes said...

Good market research! You get to discover what kids want in their books, and it's not always what adult writers put in them.
(I don't write for children or YA, so I just write what appeals to me and if they like it, fine. However, those writing for that market would do well to research!)