I had the best time in Wisconsin last week, talking to friends and family, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and readers about WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE. Some highlights of my whirlwind trip:
–Meeting the great readers at EAGLE School in Fitchburg. My very first school visit was a success! I really enjoyed talking books with Ellen Bunn, the library/media specialist and a fellow historical-fiction fan. Thanks to Ellen and Mr. Gallo for hosting me, and thanks to the students at EAGLE for being such an enthusiastic and smart audience!
–And speaking with the great readers at Elm Lawn Elementary in Middleton. I spoke to about 200 fourth- and fifth-graders, and I was blown away by their great questions. My favorite part? When I told them a little bit about my book-in-progress, which tells about what might’ve really happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. It turns out the kids at Elm Lawn are writing fiction right now about . . . the Lost Colony of Roanoke! What a cool coincidence, and it was so memorable to have that connection with young writers. Thanks to Joan Anderson and the fourth- and fifth-grade teachers for hosting me!
–Seeing so many friends and family at the Barnes & Noble in Madison, including my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Gerlach. Yes, I did tear up when I saw her smiling face–I have so many wonderful memories of Mrs. G’s class, and I credit her with sparking and encouraging my love of historical fiction. I also got to see my high-school art teacher, Mr. McConnell–it was his class that actually inspired the first manuscript I wrote. Books connect people in many ways, but I’m especially grateful that my book event led to some happy reunions.
–Meeting author friends in person for the first time. Wendy McClure, Gayle Rosengren, and I spoke on a historical MG panel at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee on Sunday. It was fun to share about our books and have a discussion about writing and reading MG. And two of Gayle and my Class of 2K14 classmates came to see us: Amy Zhang and Liz Czukas!
Hopefully I’ll get some pictures of the visit on my Facebook page soon. In the meantime, I’m already making plans for the next one.