Thursday, February 09, 2012

Florida x 3

Other than the school where I graduated, my recent trip to Florida included my first return visits to speak at schools. It was nice to catch up with people I met three years ago, and meet so many new people.

But when I first landed, I met local author (and fellow member of the Class of 2k7...the original debut author co-op) Greg Neri for dinner. We had a great chat about past and future writing projects, and possible 2k7 reunions. It is, after all, our 5 year anniversary!

Here are the brilliant high school media specialists responsible for bringing me to Florida: Tara Cain, Deborah Monck, and Jennifer Sloan.

My first stop was Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda. At each school, I gave three presentations in the auditoriums. If you're a student looking to see your face in a crowd, click on a pic to enlarge it.

As usual, not having a copy of Thirteen Reasons Why or The Future of Us was no reason not to get an autograph.

After school, I met with the school's book club to answer questions and munch cupcakes.

The next day, I spoke at Lemon Bay High School in Englewood.

Students at the school created book trailers in advance of my visit, and I had lunch with the creators of the top three student-voted trailers.

Here's the first place entry!

Amazing, right?

On my last day, I spoke at Port Charlotte High School.

That last group had me laughing so hard. During part of my speech, I shared the back-and-forth editing process of a certain scene in The Future of Us. In that scene, Carolyn and I kept revising Sydney's clothes, and we also see the introduction of her "flippy little wave." For the rest of my presentation, I kept spotting students trying to make their hand do a flippy little wave when they thought no one was watching. The looks on their faces were always so determined, and once I noticed it, I couldn't keep myself from laughing...each time!

At lunch, I was presented with a booklet of student-works inspired by my books. It was a very touching gift. (Don't worry, Carolyn, I'll make color copies of The Future of Us projects for ya!)

Recently, I can't speak anywhere without being presented with a box of donuts. Y'all know me so well! Each school day in Florida began with me eating one (um...or more) donuts. Port Charlotte actually had two donuts custom-made for each book. There was a sun-shaped donut, representing Sunshine Donuts in The Future of Us, and two donuts shaped into a 13, representing...well...I think that one's a given.

To everyone I met or saw again on this trip, thanks for a wonderful time. When my next book comes out, I'd be absolutely honored to make a three-peat appearance!


Joan said...

Very clever school visit ideas! You are right, the trailer is brilliant!

Lauren said...

So cool! The schools obviously loved having you there. The trailer is fantastic. (Also, I may be practicing the flippy wave right now.)

Sabrina said...

That book trailer was excellent!

Now excuse me while I go practice my own flippy little wave...LOL! :)

Daijah's mom said...

Thanks for your books. They brought great conversation in our home. Thanks for inspiring our children

Insomniac #4 said...

That is a terrific trailer, and the donuts... mmm!

I just finished 'The Future Of Us' (loved it!) and I'll definitely check out 'Thirteen Reasons Why' - the student film has me even more intrigued.