Talking with young people about being a writer is one of the joys of being an author. During a typical school author visit, I discuss where I get my ideas and suggest where students can look for their own. We talk about the different ways that I do the research for my books and I offer tips on how students can make their own research projects successful. I show them how I organize my materials and how doing so facilitates the writing process. Word choice is important, so I also discuss how wise word choices help a writer develop his or her own “voice.” Depending on the age of the students, I offer suggestions on how to take notes and how to revise.
I bring lots of visuals with me, including fossils, rocks, manuscripts, and a color separation which shows how a picture is printed. Groups of up to 125 students work best because they can sit on the floor, close to me, and see the items I have to show them.
Because I have written many different kinds of science books, I can easily tailor my talks to address specific topics in the science curriculum, provided you let me know ahead of time which topics each grade is studying.
During a typical school visit, I will present up to four sessions. Each session lasts about an hour, which can be modified to accommodate kindergartners. If a school visit requires an overnight stay, for an additional honorarium I can present an evening program to parents (and children who want to come).
If you are interested in having me visit your school, please contact me with questions and for further details.