Marcia Strykowski

Library Author Visits

Do you ever go to your local library to hear an author talk about their writing process or share their latest book? I’ve been to quite a few over the years at various libraries and now that I have my own books out there in the world, I sometimes am a guest at those same libraries. Here are a few pictures from one of my latest events.seal-craft3-copyI shared a couple of very short videos with the group including James Taylor singing “You’ve Got a Friend” which is featured in Call Me Amy. I also shared my book trailer and talked with the kids about the seal release I attended–shown here.

After that, we made a paper craft. Since Pup the harbor seal is one of the characters in Call Me Amy and Amy’s Choice, I scoured the internet for a craft featuring seals. I found a great one on papercraftsquare.com. sample1Only trouble is the directions are in Japanese (which I can’t read!). We struggled through, but the craft involves quite a bit of fine snipping and fussy gluing, so I’m not sure if I’ll use this particular craft again. Beforehand, my son made me a demonstration model which came out wonderful, as shown in the below picture.seal-craft2-copyEverybody seemed to enjoy themselves despite the tricky craft.seal-craft4-copyAs I’ve mentioned before, the Amy books have been read and enjoyed by all ages, not just for their intended audience of tweens. It’s been amazing how many women come up to me during book fairs and either say their name is Amy or that they were born in 1973. OR that they were the same age as Amy is in 1973. Here’s a picture of one of my largest book club turnouts. I don’t believe there was anyone named Amy present that day, but I remember many of them said they enjoyed the flashback to the seventies.

???????????????????????????????I’ll include a few more library event pictures. There’s often more talk about school visits when it comes to hosting children’s book authors. Maybe because of the ready audience—a classroom full of kids all the same age—or maybe it’s because teachers are more encouraged to have this type of program.
If you’re an author, I’d love to hear what type of event you prefer—library or school—in the below comments. Or perhaps neither is your cup of tea and you’d much rather stick to festivals or bookstores. For those of you who enjoy going to author events, what do you always hope will be on the agenda—a reading from the book, questions & answers session, show & tell about the writing process, or….??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Rodgers Memorial Library 5 - CopyThanks for reading!

47 Comments

  1. Colleen

    Oh what fabulous photos, Marcia! I LOVE the seal pup your son made. Has he written out or voice recorded how he did it so that you can make them and show your participants? It really is awesome- worth the trouble… This is a great post! Thank you for sharing the experience.

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    • Thanks, Colleen! I should have taken notes while he constructed the seal. 🙂 It’s actually not so much difficult to understand, as it is fussy for small fingers and just the right amount of glue is needed, not too much and not too little. One thing we learned is regular paper works best. I originally tried it with a light card stock, but it was difficult to bend and hold together.

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  2. That craft looks so cute! I’d be thrilled as a kid to come away w/that. But yes, it does look like it has the potential to be difficult. =)

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    • I agree, the final results are adorable. Several kids brought their half-made seals home with them to finish later. I also gave them extra pages of the pattern, (along with coloring sheets, paper dolls, bookmarks, and recipes for Miss Cogshell’s famous ginger cookies)–anything to make up for if the seals didn’t work out!

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  3. That was delightful. I loved hearing about your side of author talks.

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  4. Wonderful, Marcia!

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  5. Your pictures are great! I love school visits but have yet to do a library visit. I think I will try to do one for my next book coming out in October. Now to think of a craft to do….

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    • I’ll bet there’s lots of fun crafts to tie in. Thanks for your comment!

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  6. Sounds like a fun visit, Marcia!

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  7. Joyce Teal

    https://www.evensi.us/chattanooga-readers-and-wrriters-fair-city-of-chattanooga/178592312
    This is how Chattanooga celebrates Readers and wRiters! There will author readings, storytellers, book give aways, lots of other events and just in case you get hungry, lots of food trucks!! Wish you were here and could celebrate with us!!
    You are definitely on the WRITE track by doing author visits at libraries and especially at schools. Authors tend to be faceless persons that the kids can’t identify with. Once they meet one author, every author comes alive for them. You are amazing!

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  8. Marcia, I greatly appreciate this post as I am new at being an author (I’m very close to self-publishing my first book) and I’ve thought a lot about school and library visits and wondered how to prepare myself in the event I have the pleasure of being invited to share my book with a group of children. The paper seal craft is a great story extension and I love the photos of the children holding your book. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. The library is quite a trek for us and with no school-age children, I don’t know what goes on at the schools. I’ve attended a few author events at our local Waterstones and I love book fairs and the like. We visit lots of country fairs where there are usually one or two authors selling copies of their books. I’ve bought several children’s books that way. It’s always nice to ask the author to sign his or her book, and they are usually more than happy to oblige. My granddaughters in Australia have a shelf full of ‘author signed’ books, and especially love the ones about tractors and cows – things they are not used to seeing in Adelaide.
    Your son did an excellent job of making the seal. My granddaughters and I spent many happy hours while they were here at Christmas. Glue pots, glitter, old cards to cut up and turn into new cards, colouring pencils and pens. I had fun, and it gave their mummy and daddy and long awaited rest.
    It is about time I read one of your Amy books. I think that every time I visit you, and now I really must do something about it.
    I enjoyed all your photos, thanks for sharing them.

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    • So fun to hear about your granddaughters’ activities in Australia. They’re off to a great start with plenty of books and crafts experience. Never too old for crafts—my son’s a music professor who I roped into the seal-making task when he visited on our 4th of July holiday. Thanks for your interesting comment, Barbara!

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  10. PS I’ve just ordered Call me Amy but will have a bit of a wait as it is coming from the UK. Excited! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thanks so much, Barbara! I hope you enjoy the story. If you’d like to privately email me your home address, I can fill out a clear label and mail it to you. When they are adhered to the title page, it looks like the book itself has been signed. Thanks again for your support and friendship!

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      • I’ve just read my comment to you and realise it should say I’ve ordered from the US not the UK! I ordered from a bookseller on ABE books. I probably should have asked you first, drat! I tend to go to ABE because I used to sell there once and like to support independent booksellers. I’m so sorry I didn’t realise I could order directly from you. I will do better next time. Barbara

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        • Oh, Barbara, that’s not a problem at all. I actually don’t sell books myself (except at local fairs). On my book pages, one of the options is for independent bookstores. I was only offering a way for me to sign it for you. I think it’s wonderful you ordered a book and it doesn’t matter to me at all whether it’s from a library, a UK seller, or a US seller. Thanks again!

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  11. clarehelenwelsh

    What a lovely post and I’m super impressed but your crafty seal pup 🙂

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    • Well, the seal was a good attempt anyway. I was glad I brought flower power coloring sheets as a back up plan. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Bobbi Miller

    I love (!!!) these pictures! A very inspirational post!

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  13. How exciting to get to share your books with real readers!! I know they were thrilled to get to hear from an actual author. I wish we were close enough to bring you to our school here. And I thought the seal looked awesome!

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    • I’ll have to come up with an easier method to make the seal, a faster way for young kids in a short program. Maybe I’ll enlarge the pattern and have it precut. Thanks, Rhonda!

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      • That sounds perfect Marcia– cut out the fussy steps and leave the fun of producing that cute seal! Here’s to more times sharing books ahead… xox

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Rebecca C

    I’m a great believer in supporting one’s local library, so I both attend talks and volunteer to give talks. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Marcia! I enjoyed reading the post and was amazed by the seal craft.

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    • That’s great, Rebecca. Nothing beats a library filled with free fun. Thanks for your comment!

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  15. Bette Norton

    Meeting the author at local libraries or book stores, I think is a fun way for kids to get to know the writer behind the story. Making a craft to go along with the story, just brings the story to life for young and older readers alike!. I love the seal pup that your son made. It is so cute but does look challenging to make. While vacationing on Deer Isle, Maine I saw a long rock painted gray with the cutest eye and whiskers on it. It was the cutest seal! If you got medium size, but long in shape rocks, then had some light gray paint and markers for the eye and whiskers, that would be a simple craft. They were the cutest! I have enjoyed both of your wonderful books! The middle reader as well as adults who grew up in that time period and everyone else in between, would enjoy your books! 🙂

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    • Oh, that sounds like a great idea and very cute. I’ll have to think on it and keep my eyes open for perfect rocks. Thanks, Bette!

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  16. Marcia, such awesome pictures!Your craft is so clever!! I love going to classrooms and reading a scene and having the students respond with comments or questions. I am looking forward to my first author visit to a library when it happens!

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    • Thanks, Kathleen. I’m sure your author visits will be very interesting. Looking forward to reading your book in the next week or so (I’ve got two ahead of it)–can’t wait!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. Thanks so much. I hope you enjoy it😊

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  17. The library events with several activities (videos, paper craft, etc.) look wonderful. When my children were younger they would have loved something like this.

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    • Hi, Sheryl. I’ll bet you introduced your children to many interesting activities. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ashley

    These pictures are awesome!! Makes me want to go to your programs and make a seal, too! I loved both of your books about Amy!

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  19. Wow! How amazing. Congrats. The pictures are awesome. Children are just beautiful people. Thank you for sharing.

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  20. ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks

    Looks like a great event, Marcia! I think the seal pup craft turned out very well. I haven’t had any events myself (and being a ghostwriter now, probably not going to have any, which suits me just fine) but if I were to attend a favourite author’s event, I’d like to hear more about the inspiration behind her works and her routines.

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    • Those ideas match what I like to hear authors talk about, too. It might be interesting for ghostwriters to attend book events, kind of like a fly on the wall, you could listen in on what people say about the book with only you knowing the true writer’s identity. 🙂

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