Tuesday, November 6th, 2017. Knoxville Iowa, Middle School.
I had my first school visit at the Knoxville Middle School here in Iowa where I live. And yes I was VERY nervous and worried because I hate talking in front of people and I didn’t know what to expect. Three months before I went I was all excited and I couldn’t wait to talk to the kids. The closer time was approaching the more I was feeling a little scared and overwhelmed.
But I did discover after the fact why I was so overwhelmed and stressed out. I had an author visit on Monday, October 20th, 2018 at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines, Iowa. And that same week I had a book signing at the public library on October 25th, 2018. There was a lot of talking in front of people and that’s why I was so overwhelmed and stressed out. I wasn’t getting any sleep and I was having anxiety and I wanted it to just get over with.
Once the day came I was still nervous and overwhelmed. I was thinking about the things that could go wrong and a couple of my friends had to calm me down and let me know that they are there to listen to you talk about being a writer and a published author.
That morning I had no idea what I was going to take. The librarian did send me some questions to give me an idea of what to talk about. So I went through the list of questions and the 1st question was what did you read in middle school. I didn’t have the books so I said Junie B. Jones and the magic tree house books. Then I talked about how I use to draw in 5th grade. I brought those so they could see them. And then I explained in the Summer of 2004 I wrote my first story (House of Treasures) I brought the handwritten manuscript that I had for years and all the kids were fascinated by it. I saw the wow look on their faces. It made me feel good as a published author.
As time went on throughout the whole day I felt more comfortable and confident. I was getting the feel of how things were going and I loved the energy of the kids. And how excited they were to see a published author. I explained to them what the difference between a panster and outline was. half the class raised their hands when I said who’s a panster, who is an outliner? And after I got done talking the kids who were writers came up to me and they all were talking to me at once and I saw how excited they were talking to me about their own work. the more I talked I felt okay and not so worked up and stressed. The kids inspired me and I loved the talk.