Thank You Brewster High School for an Absolutely Awesome Visit!

BHS - Class of 2003!I just got back from an INCREDIBLE visit to my alma mater, Brewster High School in Brewster, NY, and I was SO thrilled… until I realized I’m a turd and completely forgot to take any photos. :’-(  It was an awesome, awesome time and I wish I could show you all, but I guess you guys will just have to make do with a nice stock photo of the school and our bear mascot (sorry).  –>

Anyway, I got to meet with the Humanities club which is run by two of my favorite teachers, Ms. McLeod and Mrs. Fine (shout out also to Mr. Stack for organizing!), and 20+ AMAZING students showed up for the discussion.  I was SO blown away by these kids, seriously – they ranged from freshmen to seniors and were just so incredibly thoughtful and bright and well-read, and had so much to say about a great variety of topics.

We touched on everything from my inspiration for Stitch (particularly the twist), to the merits of 1st vs. 3rd person point-of-view, the pressures of writing a trilogy, what it means to be an indie author, our favorite dystopian reads, how to market a book (including a great suggestion to try a Reddit AMA which I’m totally looking into!), what the students like to read and write, thoughts on book-to-movie adaptations, and more!

Brewster High School also got an exclusive sneak peek at an excerpt from Shudder (Chapter 8) which I’m very excited to share since literally no one up to this point has seen that except my beta readers.  (Hope you guys enjoy!)  Ch8’s not even going to be in the sample chapters, so the only way to get your hands on that is to track down someone from the BHS Humanities club… or wait until the book comes out on June 15th and buy a copy, wink wink!  :-D

I’ll likely be making a return visit in the fall, and I’m looking forward to it already!  In the meantime, BHS definitely keep in touch – please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions/comments and I’d LOVE to hear what you guys have to say about Shudder!  And if you *really* miss me, you can find my photo hanging in front of the auditorium…seriously (perks of being a valedictorian, haha).

Thanks again to Brewster for letting me invade for an afternoon!  It was super fun to be back.  :-)

PS – Go Bears.

Thank you Stamford High School for the AMAZING Visit!

I just got back from what was definitely one of the *coolest* experiences I’ve had as an author thus far – I got to visit the Stamford High School Book Club (in Stamford, CT) for an awesome discussion about Stitch (which they read recently) and my experience as an author!

Let me tell you – talking to readers is about the awesome-est thing ever (and yes I know awesome-est isn’t word, but it is now!!), and I hear from a lot of you guys online (which is AMAZING), but this was my first experience actually sitting down in a room full of people who’ve read my book and just…. wow.  It was really beyond words.

First off, these students were all so thoughtful and bright and cool, and had so many great things going on in their own lives, that I felt special that they even took the time to read Stitch.  They had SO many great questions – about my inspiration for the story, how I got started writing, who my favorite characters are, the most difficult (and best!) parts of writing a book, self-publishing, how I actually approached the writing process, how to market a book, you name it – not to mention (even better!) I got to hear about what they thought of Stitch (no one saw the twist coming, yay!) and the characters and what they hope to see in the next one.  It was a very stimulating and fun conversation – I’m going to be glowing for weeks!

To thank the Stamford HS Book Club for having me, I also gave out some very very early drafts of the first couple chapters of Shudder (you can see it there on the desk in the bottom left corner of the photo) as a Stamford High School exclusive.  I’m SUPER excited to hear what they think, because they are literally the *first* people to see this work, outside of my beta readers.  (Sorry everyone else!! I’ll have the finalized sample chapters up here for the rest of you in a few weeks – these guys needed some kind of perk for getting me out of my house for once!  Haha.)  I actually haven’t even revised those chapters yet – it’s first draft material, so it’s probably typo-laden and not super great – but I thought it would be cool to see these before anyone else!

And I was also thrilled to receive my very first piece of fan art!  Check it out!  (Isn’t this incredible?  Storm literally sketched this drawing of me in 5 minutes right before my eyes, while holding a full conversation with me and the other students – so cool!)

Overall, it was just an amazing day.  HUGE HUGE THANKS to Librarian Mary George for inviting me (and for the delicious red velvet cupcakes!) and to all of the students at Stamford who read the book and joined us for the meeting (and those of you who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it!).  You guys are seriously the best!!  Keep in touch!