The best type of advice is not only free, but useful. Mrs. Taylor, the librarian at Reedom Elementary offered some pointers concerning my presentation. First off, she mentioned that most students know who J.K. Rollins is and if they don’t, will when I mention Harry Potter when I discuss the writing industry. J.K. Rollins does get mentioned when I go through a literary agent’s day and that person has a choice between my six page story which might go into the maybe pile or J.K. Rollin’s next book. When I ask students which book would they choose when they’re the agent, most say mine, but for now the answer is J.K. Rollins. Why? She can write something average, perhaps even bad, and sell 100,000 copies because she has almighty platform established.
Mrs. Taylor’s main point was that when I mention other authors like John Grisham, the name doesn’t ring a bell with student, but Dr. Seuss does as will other children’s book authors. The point is that the examples I site in the writing world mean more to kids if they know the authors.
The next bit of advice concerned ways to tie writing and revision into the student’s lives. I do mention how many times I revised Yalu and the Puppy Room, the number currently stands at thirty-five. She suggested that I develop a methodology to get students interested in writing. That would be tough to handle in a one day visit with reading my book and creating that almighty need to buy my book as my emphasis. I will try and think of something. What? I don’t know, but something will come to me and it will most likely be while I’m at work, driving, or having a dream and there’s no paper or working pen.
A third observation would be showing students the need to choose from one artist over another. I did find another’s artist’s rendering of Yalu and have added it to the slideshow presentation that has Tielman’s final pictures from the book. I have also found some of Tielman’s pencil sketches that I have added to the slideshow so I can give a good before and after view of Tielman’s creative process.