My cousin teaches Spanish at Temescal Canyon High School in southern California. We've been trying to organize an author visit for a while, and last week we finally made it happen! I love speaking at schools (so feel free to invite me!), but there is an extra jolt of excitement when I get to display for my family what I do when I'm not sitting at a computer writing books...or blog posts.
My cousin Tracy's entire family took time off from work or school (I know, I wish I had an author in the family while growing up!) to hear me speak.
Right after speaking and signing books at T.C.H.S., I zipped across the highway to speak at a fundraiser for Huntington Beach Reads One Book. This was the sixth year of this event, when the entire community is encouraged to read the same book, and the HBReads committee organizes several events to discuss various aspects of the chosen books. This year they chose Thirteen Reasons Why, their first fiction or YA selection.
After the fundraiser, I spoke to a group inside the gym at Huntington Beach High School. I mostly discussed bullying, and what I learned about that issue both before and after writing my novel. In the back of the gym was a display of student-made movie posters for my book.
The next morning, students from several local high schools were bused into the gym to hear me speak. I always start by asking how many of them have read at least one of my books. When the great majority of their hands go up, my first thought is always, "Dude!" (I know, it'd be nice if my first thought was something more philosophical, but Dude! it is.)
And here are close-ups of a few of the posters: