Okay, I admit I was a bit intimidated at the thought of speaking at Valley Elementary in Orderville a week after J Scott Savage spoke there–on essentially the same subject. As I don’t do magic tricks, I could never be as cool as he is. Still I think that went well enough, under the circumstances. Certainly each foray into the realm of public speaking teaches me something more. I guess I just need to get Savage’s speaking schedule and make sure NOT to contact those schools! Or I can strive to reach the point my presentations are so great he doesn’t want to follow me….I can always dream, right?

Anyway, I started out with a couple of days presenting to my local high school last week about my journey to becoming an author, and the things I learned along the way. I compared those things to other jobs or dreams the kids might have. That presentation could probably use a bit of polish, too, though the librarian told me I didn’t look a bit nervous–Yay me!

After the presentations I had several students (and a couple of teachers) approach me to talk about writing. It appears I may end up with enough members to start a local chapter of the League of Utah Writers after all!

Tuesday I spoke at Kanab Middle School about how to create a story, the basic elements, and then had the kids help me write the story. I think I kept their attention pretty well, and I had lots of great questions from the kids about writing and publishing.

The funniest part of the morning was when I was using James Dashner as an example of why some writers have more than one publisher. A boy on the front row asked me if I knew James. When I said I did he gave me this awed look. Which of course precipitated questions from the others about whether I knew Brandon Mull or Stephanie Meyer. Unfortunately the answers to both of those questions were no. But maybe someday, if I’m very lucky those answers will change.

I also had a couple of students present my postcards (with my book’s cover on them) to me for signing. How cool is that? Nicole and Sean, you made my day!

And at the grocery store signing that night (yes, I signed in a grocery store, odd, I know, but it worked out pretty well. My apologies to the local bookstore that carries LDS books, I didn’t know there was one!) I had another student approach me who had been in my presentations, but too shy to ask me anything in front of the group. This young teen has actually written a book around 100,000 words (longer than my book), and was ready to start polishing it up. Way to go! Here’s a picture of me with her. I’m not going to name her, since she’s still a teenager.
I find it almost disconcerting to have people approaching me, asking me questions as if I were the expert (including English teachers). Still, I really enjoy talking shop with people (and you wouldn’t believe the number of people I spoke with who knew people in my home town–it really is a small world.)

Anyway, I’m signing at Confetti Books and Antiques at 273 North Main Street, Spanish Fork today from 4-6 p.m. with Linda Chadwick and another author whose name escapes me (because I’m just that big of a slacker). There will be other authors there before and after us, and a demo in the evening. It’ll be a fun event, so swing by sometime if you are in the area.

As for my blog tour, Joyce DiPastena reviewed my book today. Check it out!