I introduce myself, my illustrator, and give a little background information on where we came from and how we started. I express why we’re here. I’m not here to just discuss my books. I’m here to talk about perseverance and chasing goals.
This is a 3-minute inspirational speech by Steve Harvey that I play on a speaker from my phone. It talks about staying focused, chasing your dream, perseverance, and “jumping.” Harvey is one of my idols and I think the message is important for kids, as it was to me. (This is optional and subject to review by the teacher or librarian.) In my own life, I had to battle the loss of my best friend and business partner in 2001. I was afflicted with a debilitating balance disorder in 2003, I lost my father to cancer, and my illustrator, Tony, had a stroke 5 years ago. We continue. We drive on. We “jump.”
This is where I discuss how I began writing books, and introducing the kids to how books come together, marrying writing and illustrating. I show examples of sketches, illustrations, and specifics on how Tony and I attack a book project. I talk about how to publish your book and how everything works. It’s at this point I introduce the new book I’m working on, and offer up my exclusive contest. All buyers of my books enter their name into my contest to be a CHARACTER in the new book.
After the banner stand power points are over, I split the group in half, sending one half back to Tony, my illustrator, where he performs a live illustration to show the kids just how he performs his illustration magic! The other half stays with me, and we do a little Q & A. After 10 minutes or so, we switch groups.
Time permitting: I pass out a piece of double-sided lined paper to all the kids. Make sure they bring their pencils! I ask them to either DRAW or WRITE a short (flash) fiction story. I collect all the papers and take them home. If time doesn’t permit, the kids may take the papers home and have 1 day to turn their stories or drawings in. Tony and I will then award prizes to the top 3 winners in both categories. ONE lucky storyteller may end up with the chance to be published under ReadyAimWrite Kids!
I thank everyone for their time, tell them to stay tuned for the Flash Fiction Contest winner, and tell the kids that if they didn’t get an opportunity to purchase the books, to tell their teacher and fill out an order form. I’ll sign the book to them and bring it back in!