|Look at all the great books to choose from!
Valentine’s Day may be over, but we’re still celebrating with our Share the Love Contest that gives you the chance to win some books for yourself, as well as the library of your choice! Our lucky winner will get to choose 3 books from among works by our incredible pool of OAV authors, which includes Janet Lee Carey, Dia Calhoun, Deb Lund, Martha Brockenbrough, Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams, Lisa L. Owens, Claire Rudolph Murphy, and Trudi Trueit. In addition, a collection of books will go to a U.S. library selected by the winner. There’s even an ARC (Advanced Reviewer’s Copy) in the mix from author Dia Calhoun, so don’t miss out! Complete contest details and an entry form can be found at the end of this post.
Inviting one of our Online Authors to your classroom, library, or book event is a great way to motivate students to read and write. Virtual visits allow students to learn more about the craft of writing, discover what really goes on behind the scenes in book publishing, and peer into an author’s world firsthand. Plus, with virtual visit fees a fraction of the cost of a live presentation, it’s an affordable option that helps support a worthwhile cause (OAV authors donate 25% of their virtual visit fees to charity). Doing a virtual visit is as simple as downloading Skype software (the For Schools/Book Club page shows you how) and selecting an author!
Here’s a closer look at some of our talented authors and what they can offer your class, library, or book club:
“I’ve always loved technology. When I was seven, I first started playing on computers and writing little programs that made my name go across the screen diagonally (what passed for entertainment in the 1970s, well…). I’ve also been a classroom teacher and love talking with kids about books and writing. Combining the two feels completely natural. When I do virtual visits, I like to talk about how I got started writing, to show kids where I write, and to do an exercise where we create a scene together. My novel, Devine Intervention, is appropriate for readers 12 and up. In July, my picture book, The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy, will come out for younger readers. For those kids, I plan to show them real dinosaur teeth in addition to reading the book.”
“Imagine an author scribbling in her attic day and night, with ink stained fingers, with only her characters for companionship. Now imagine — voilà! A laptop loaded with Skype appears on her desk. She looks up. What? There is a world out there? With real people in it who are reading my books? She looks through the screen at a classroom of eager kids waiting to ask her questions. She blinks. She hopes she has remembered to change out of her pajamas sometime in the last few days. A little girl says, “I love your books. I’m so excited to see you. I want to ask . . . Why did Eva like to write poems?” The author smiles, forgetting the pajamas, forgetting the ink-stained fingers, forgetting the hours of lonely toil, and begins to answer. That is why I love online school visits.”
Janet Lee Carey
“Aside from writing, there’s nothing like connecting and interacting with readers. Online Author Visits gives participants the chance to mine for gold as we dig down into a particular book, delving for plot insights, mining for story meaning, or exposing the stages of the writing process. I love answering readers’ questions in a lively Q&A. What inspires me most? Readers whose surprising questions challenge me to see my stories in a new way. This kind of thing can only happen when we meet, connect, and talk with one another. Now that’s gold.”
“Virtual visits make visits doable for me at times when it would be impossible to take the time to travel to an on-site school visit. Connecting with kids is my favorite part of any visit, be it virtual or on-site. I’m currently talking about the mythology-based Goddess Girls series and Heroes-in-Training series I coauthor with Suzanne Williams, my Who Was Babe Ruth? chapter book biography, and my Zero the Hero picture book!”
“I’ve Skyped with classes, library groups, and whole schools, but my favorite online visit happened on a blustery evening in Ohio (while I was far away at home on mild-weathered Whidbey Island). A large group of kids and parents had trekked through the snow to meet me, and seeing them bundled up brought back memories of growing up in Minnesota. The best part, though, was finding out later that my brother-in-law, who lives in the same Ohio city, had made the trek, too. In addition to the school saying how I managed the group so well (which I think was great but also hilarious since I wasn’t even there), my brother-in-law said, “You had them in the palm of your hand.” He saw a side of me he didn’t know, and since we don’t see him for many years at a time, I was honored that he battled the weather to be there.”
Claire Rudolph Murphy
“I enjoy talking to students all over the country, and a Skype visit allows me to reach students from my home with an affordable cost for schools. I love talking about the research behind my books and also the writing process, which is the same for the students listening — from first draft to response to the many revisions. It’s what all writers do. I am excited about my upcoming 2014 book My Country ‘Tis of Thee: Song of Patriotism, Song of Protest will illustrations by Caldecott honor illustrator Bryan Collier. I got chills during the second Obama inauguration when Kelly Clarkson sang the famous anthem – again. Our book ends with the scene of Aretha Franklin singing the historic song at President Obama’s first inauguration. Until I did research on the book I didn’t realize that it had also served as a civil rights’ anthem throughout our country’s history.”
Lisa L. Owens
“Visiting with young readers is a huge job perk for me. I enjoy sharing insights into the writing and publishing processes — and talks focused on the specifics of a given book or genre are lots of fun, too. Of course, the best part of any visit is hearing what the kids have to say. They always teach me something new. Virtual visits are great because they allow me to connect with classrooms and groups I wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. I love that I can be writing at my Seattle desk one minute and then, with just a click, instantly start talking with readers from almost anywhere in the world.”
“The incredible thing about virtual visits is that no matter how far apart you are from your audience, once the creative juices get flowing the miles between you melt away. In an online visit, I do most everything I would do if I was there in person: talk about how I became a writer, lead a writing workshop or discussion, answer questions, read from my books Secrets of a Lab Rat or Stealing Popular, and even play a game (I send small prizes ahead of the event). The best part of doing virtual visits are the surprises — and there are always fun surprises. Once, I was doing a Q&A session with students, and a girl stepped up to the mic. Instead of asking me a question, she told me that my book, Julep O’Toole: Confessions of a Middle Child, had helped her survive the challenges of middle school. I had to hold back the tears. Moments like this are why I do what I do, and why I love connecting with students so much.”
For a complete list of OAV member authors, fees, and other details, check out the Author Info page.
Now, for the Share the Love Giveaway! Here’s how it works: One winner will choose 3 books from the list below. In addition, a U.S. school or public library of the winner’s choice will receive a collection of 6 books (to be selected from the list by OAV and sent directly to the winning library). Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. U.S. residents only, please. The contest runs from February 14, 2013, through midnight (PST) Sunday, February 24, 2013. The winner’s first name and last initial, and the name of the winning library will be posted here following the completion of the contest.
If you win, you’ll get your choice of 3 of the following titles:
~ Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
~ Zero the Hero by Joan Holub
~ All Aboard the Dinotrain by Deb Lund
~ Dinosaurs by Deb Lund
~ Space Neighbors: The Sun by Lisa L. Owens
Nonfiction Middle Grade:
~ Frenemies: Dealing with Friend Drama by Lisa L. Owens
~ Who Was Babe Ruth? by Joan Holub
~ Children of the Gold Rush by Claire Rudolph Murphy
Middle Grade and Teen Fiction:
~ An ARC of After the River the Sun by Dia Calhoun
~ Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough
~ Dragonswoodby Janet Lee Carey
~ Heroes in Training: Poseidon and the Sea of Fury by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
~ Goddess Girls: Pandora the Curious by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
~ Black Beauty: A Graphic Novel by Lisa L. Owens
~ Secrets of a Lab Rat: No Girls Allowed (Dogs Okay) by Trudi Trueit
~ Stealing Popular by Trudi Trueit
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ CONTEST WINNER ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Laurisa R. and the school library she selected to receive a collection of books, Rosedell Elementary in Saugus, California! Your books will be on the way soon!
Thanks to everyone who entered our Share the Love Giveaway, and keep checking back for more chances to win books, swag, and other prizes from your favorite OAV authors!