Saturday, October 8, 2011

Author Visit: Karma Wilson

   

Last Wednesday, our little community had a treat ... picture book author Karma Wilson came to town! Our lower-elementary school principal invited me to watch her kindergarten presentation. Karma was delightful--in person and as a presenter. 


She read a couple of her books (including BEAR SNORES ON, her best seller) and told another story with a puppet, based on one of her books. I was so impressed with how she engaged her audience. The kids had a blast!

Watching Karma present made me realize how diverse the job of being an author really is. A big part is still holing up in your writing/editing cave and creating. But once you're published, you also have an audience to consider.

To be honest, the idea of taking my book on tour and visiting schools and libraries slightly terrifies me. I mean, I love people, but I think I'll need to work on my public speaking/presenting skills. I'd love to attend a YA author presentation sometime. I'm sure it's different than a picture book author's! (Probably not quite as fun, unfortunately.)
 
During question and answer time, one teacher asked, "When did you write your first book?"

Karma acknowledged that this was a tricky question, since she'd written twenty books before BEAR SNORES ON that weren't good enough to be published.
I loved that she said that. It's inspiring to be reminded that if we keep working at it, we can eventually reach our publication goals.

Have you watched an author present before? I admit, this is only the second author presentation I've attended (not including speakers at SCBWI conferences).  Do you look forward to this aspect of post-publication?

8 comments:

  1. Great pictures and I loved Karma's humility to admit that she'd written 20 that weren't good enough. That would inspire anybody.

    I have been to a few author visits, and done some myself. I really do enjoy connecting with my readers. It's very gratifying. However, it can eat up a lot of time (travelling, preparing, etc.) so I would rather be holed up writing. Also a lot of interaction in one day makes me exhausted.

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  2. Yes, I appreciated her honesty, too, Vijaya!

    That is so cool that you've done author visits! I wish you could come to our school. I'm sure they are exhausting, though. Karma used up so much energy presenting. And then she had to talk to crazy fans like me afterwards, too. Poor thing! ;)

    Amy

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  3. I recently attended a visit by YA author, Laini Taylor (I posted about it on my blog). It was at a bookstore but she was also visiting schools on her book tour.

    The bookstore visit was simple, yet perfect. She talked about how she came to write her latest book, read an excerpt, answered our questions, then signed books.

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  4. :) Didn't see this in my google reader, either, Amy! :) Fun opportunity for everyone! Bet YOU can't wait to be doing these someday too! (I think a certain TIS would love to have you . . . )

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  5. I love her picture books!

    I heard at a conference one time that a person usually has to write 50 picture books to get one published. It's a tough market, and rhyming picture books are even harder to sell. Now, I'm wondering how many I've written. ;)

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