Sunday, November 7, 2010

My First Author Visit (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)

I recently experienced my first author school visit. It was a day long visit in which I was asked to speak to students in grades three through eight. It was in conjunction with their book fair taking place on campus.

Now, being a teacher for over thirty years, you would think this would come to me naturally right? WRONG!! I stayed away from teaching students with raging hormones all these years for a reason. I tend to gravitate to the ages where you still seem smart in their eyes and because you are their teacher they love you.

I wasn’t expecting to be asked to be a visiting author this quickly, but it came and I took advantage of the opportunity. Since my book is on a lower level than jr. high students would be interested in, I knew I better add something to my presentation or I would lose them for sure. I came up with something and had it approved by the school’s librarian and one of the eighth grade teachers who happens to be a friend of mine. It was ready to go. Two days before, I found out the presentation time was half the amount of time I was first told. So back to the drawing board I went to chip away at my presentation.

The day of the visit began with an unexpected fire drill and a relocation of where I was to make the presentation. That didn’t bother me. That’s how things go at schools sometimes and I was used to that thank goodness. I was nervous when I first began but soon became comfortable with speaking and really enjoyed it. I changed the presentation some with each age group who came to hear me speak. Even the teenagers gave their attention to my presentation.(Yes!)
At the end of the day, I survived my first author visit. I felt pure elation. It was one more thing on my bucket list I could check off if I actually had one.

I know this won’t be my last author visit. I actually have another one scheduled next month. I am going back to the drawing board to make my visits even more hands on and appealing to the students. I better work on making that bucket list too!

Peggy Clement is the author of a newly released children’s chapter book, Queen of the Castle and contributing author to an anthology, It’s in the Gulf. She is a member of Bayou Writers’ Group and Golden Triangle Writer’s Guild. She resides in Lumberton, TX.


  1. Firsts are always the best - congrats and God's blessings for much success!

  2. Was so glad to see you at BWG conference this past Saturday. Seeing was all I had a chance to do, though. Wanted very much to talk with you. Hope you enjoyed the day.