Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Readings

Book readings are the best way to see the reaction of an audience to your work, especially for a children's writer. Reading to a critique group of adults is great for the writing process, and scanning a review once in awhile, well, that's a mixed bag. Too many reviews are much too brief to be of any help. But reading to a group of kids can tell you a lot about how your intended readers will respond to your story.

I wrote my book, Roll Up the Streets! while reading it a chapter at a time to fifth graders at Holmes elementary school in Spokane, Wa. Every Friday I'd sit down over lunch and read a new chapter while watching the kids chomp on whatever horrifying public school lunch was offered that day. The whole idea of centering my story around evil corndogs came from those lunch readings as well as half the gross passages in the book. I owe a lot to those kids.

I'm holding a book reading on Oct. 9 at the Tinman Too childrens bookstore in Spokane on Oct. 9. It's the first one where I'll actually be able to read from the published book, and not just a handful of papers in my lap. I'm crossing my fingers, and hoping it will be as rewarding as those trips to Holmes.

So when you read in public, don't just read. Watch too. You might just pick up a few gross, disgusting tidbits to brightening up your writing.


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