First…a little back story for those of you who are new around here.
I taught seventh grade language arts in Carmel Indiana at Clay Middle School for six years. And loved it. I can honestly say that being a teacher was fabulous. We had great kids, tons of parent support, and fabulous facilities. Plus, I had the privilege of working with some of the best people in the business.
So. As you can imagine. Deciding to stay home with my kids was a hard call for me. I was all sorts of torn up about it. There were tears. There were lots of tears. But ultimately I decided to take a break from teaching to do the stay-at-home-mom thing and write.
I don’t regret it. But I do miss my time in the classroom. I miss sharing my love of reading and writing with large packs of squirmy seventh graders. I miss lunches with friends, even if those lunches were around fifteen minutes total and didn’t allow us to actually chew our food. I miss it. A lot.
So when I found out that Carmel High School was hosting an event called Writing Con (Think knock off Comic con?) I wanted in.
There were two problems with this.
Problem One. I hadn’t been invited.
Problem Two. I didn’t actually have any books yet.
BUT! I wasn’t going to let those things stop me. After lots of emailing, I was told that I would be welcomed with open arms. (I mentioned the people at Carmel are fabulous right? Because they are.)
So. I went about tackling problem two. No books. As I’ve mentioned around a million times Edge of Extinction- The Ark Plan comes out May 10. The event was April 28 and 29. SO CLOSE! So I begged to get the books to the Carmel Barnes & Noble a little early. And because the HarperCollins team is amazing, they made it happen!
The two days were awesome. We got to work hands on with the kids at different writing “pods”, and I got a chance to talk to two different classes. Dusting off my old teaching hat was fun, and man, I miss it.
Although, as a side note,high schoolers are so put together! I’m used to middle school students who get pumped and excited at the slightest provocation. High school kids are much less wiggly!
Another perk of the event was getting to meet other local authors. I added all their books to my “got to read this soon” list. Here are a few of their books!
(And this isn’t even everyone! So many awesome people there!
I also picked the other authors’ brains mercilessly. I’m very new to this author game, and I loved hearing what they’ve done to get the word out about their books.
The event capped off with a book signing at the Carmel Barnes & Noble. I got to sit next to Jeff Stone because we both had middle grade books while the other authors were primarily YA and adult fiction.
This was a little surreal. Jeff Stone’s books were by far some of the most popular with the seventh grade boy crowd, and I really enjoyed talking to him about the publishing world!
I would love to say that I played it cool, but I’m not so sure that I did. A lot of my friends stopped by to buy books and I jumped around and gushed at them about how much I appreciated it. A few old students stopped by to buy books as well, which really made my day.
On a side note. My little metal dinosaur got TONS off attention.
This cracked me up as I threw him in my bag as an after thought. I purchased him years ago when I first started writing Edge of Extinction. He used to live on my desk when I was teaching as a daily reminder to keep working on my book and following my dream, and now he makes a nice little statement on my author’s table. It’s funny how life works.
A big thank you to Carmel High School and the Carmel Barnes & Noble for hosting the event and for letting me be a part of it. SO MUCH FUN!
Also, as this is my book launch eve (Is that a thing? Oh well, is now.) I’m going to be posting a giveaway on Instagram tomorrow! (If you don’t follow me over there, you totally should! I’m Lauramartinbooks) So check tomorrow for a chance to win! Happy Book Launch Eve everyone!