Monday, April 20, 2009
HOW TO MEET J.K. ROWLING (OR SOME OTHER AUTHOR)
I am always surprised when I visit schools that students think I have all the answers. But I will let you in on a little secret - authors are regular people! We do our laundry and pay our bills. We wake up one morning full of energy, and the next morning, we can barely open one eye. But if you are still interested in meeting an author and finding out what they may know about writing that you don't, here are some creative ways to go about doing just that!
1. FIND THEM ON FACEBOOK - There are tons of authors on facebook. Try "friending" them. Authors love to post - since we are alone in our offices all day. When we get stuck, we frequently turn to facebook to connect with others. Ask them questions on their wall. I bet they'll answer!
2. FOLLOW THEIR BLOG - You may not want to read all the stuff they write on their blogs, but some authors actually write some interesting tidbits about writing. Most think they are advising adult authors - but any advice given to an adult writer is bound to be helpful to those of you who are just learning the process.
3. START A BOOK CLUB AT YOUR SCHOOL - How in the world is this going to help? Well, a lot of times, authors will visit book clubs - especially if you have bought their book. You may not get JK Rowling to stop by, but then I don't really know JK Rowling and maybe she would think it was cool. I would start with some local authors who have written just a few books. Send an email through their website and see what they have to say. It is certainly worth a shot and you will have a lot of fun reading and sharing great books if nothing else comes of it.
4. START AN AFTER-SCHOOL CRITIQUE GROUP AT YOUR SCHOOL AND INVITE AN AUTHOR TO BE YOUR MENTOR - This would work best with a local author. Again, email them from their website, gather a group of kids who are serious writers and propose a once a month meeting, where you would read your work aloud and the writer would critique it. Each year, change writers - that way you can get lots of different perspectives. (And remember to buy the writers' books! That will help convince him/her)
So whether you want to get to know a writer close to home or far-away, there are ways to reach out. Go ahead, don't be afraid. Remember - we all pull on our pants the same way!