As part of my job in the library, I'm responsible for hosting an author at our school, every other year. We haven't done it in at least two, and probably three years, since I played the "rookie" card last year. I knew I wasn't getting out of it this year, so I met with the PTO chairmoms for the author visit and threw some things out for them to consider.
The first, and probably biggest, was to decide how big we wanted to go. We had a choice of going with a local person which would make the communication, travel and expenses easier, or we could try to get a big national name in, although I was a bit afraid we might be too late for this. Not surprisingly, they opted for the big national name and I wasn't totally disappointed, why not go big. I had prepared a list of authors that I thought we could still get based on visits to their websites and showed them some of the books for each that we had on hand in the library.
Almost immediately, they went for James Preller, author of the Jigsaw Jones Mystery series for our younger readers, Along Came Spider(Karen's review) and Six Innings for our older readers. I was more than excited about their choice, since my partner, Karen, had communicated with James on numerous occasions through our blog. In addition to Karen, my friends Maria and Joyce have had electronic conversations with him, so there was a natural tie-in to our building.
And so the wheels were in motion. The only real snag we hit was that he wanted to come for 2 days to make the travel worth while, understandable. I was unable to find another interested building, so I threw out the idea of having a two day visit. The first, a typical author visit day, the second a more intimate writer's workshop, if you will, with smaller groups. James has been more than accommodating and my library committee is excited about the possibilities, too.
Today I got two pieces of good news that make me even more excited for March. The first is that the flight is booked, so James Preller is coming, and the second is that his book, Six Innings, that I reviewed here was recently chosen as a New York Public Library Top 100 book! Read more about it here. Congratulations, James! Bailey is looking forward to your visit.