Wax Paper Kazoo

One of the top keywords by which people find my blog is "wax paper kazoo," due to this post. I'm thinking about working wax paper kazoo into all of my posts.

Book Signing at Urban Think!

Last week, Bruce and Medea Harris hosted my first book signing at their bookstore, Urban Think!, an eclectic bookstore in the cool part of town. To get there, you drive over brick roads that wind around small lakes; oaks line the road, draped in Spanish moss.

When I arrived, Jim Crescitelli, the manager, welcomed me with a hug and a stack of my books. I like this bookstore because it smelled like coffee and made me feel all literary and stuff. Lots of friends and family dropped in, and even people I didn't know bought books and talked with me! By the end of the day, Violet Raines had SOLD OUT!

Here's how the day went (courtesy of my mom, the photographer):

This is Jim.
I got him to come outside during one of the rare moments
he wasn't busy with customers or helping someone on the phone.

My sister constructed this board
using photos I took at the Econlockhatchee River.

Serendipity! Julie Compton, author of the legal thriller, Tell No Lies, ran out of books at a book signing and came to Urban Think! for more copies. That's her below on the left. I also met her husband, Eric Compton (on the right), who just happens to work at Scholastic! He recognized my book and introduced himself right away. It was a thrill to meet him, and more thrilling yet to know he was familiar with Violet Raines!

All in all, a great day! Thanks Urban Think! and thank you to all the wonderful people who visited that day!

Hello Lake Highland Preparatory School!

Bruce and Medea Harris, owners of Orlando's Urban Think! Bookstore, invited me to participate in their book fair hosted at beautiful Lake Highland Preparatory School. Boy, am I glad I said yes! I've never seen the halls so decked out at a book fair. The event took place inside LHPS's Black Box theater, the perfect backdrop for the fantastical decorations that must have taken days to put up.

On top of that, I got to talk one-on-one with so many students, boys and girls, and I once again discovered how bright and optimistic our children are. One thing I loved hearing was that almost every student said reading or playing outside was their favorite pastime.

Thank you, Urban Think! and Lake Highland Prep--I had a wonderful time!

Free Books!

Donna Gephart is giving away free copies of her book, as if being 12 3/4 isn't bad enough, my mother is running for president!

Check it out here!

Hello Stone Lakes Elementary School!

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking about writing and Violet Raines to more than a hundred students at Stone Lakes Elementary School in Orlando. The students impressed me with their excellent behavior. I'm always amazed by the reception of children; they're ready to accept you--they want to accept you--and they're so open.

As I spoke, cute little faces smiled back at me. Talk about feeling welcome! And their questions were insightful: Are you like Violet? Is Eddie based on anyone? How long does it take to write a book? Did you make the cover? These students were engaged, and that made my visit all the more wonderful.

Here are some of Stone Lakes' finest. Go Eagles!