JOY READ: Author visits from the author’s POV

As a library technician, I’ve booked many author visits and am used to the drama. Contacting the author or the booking agency, arranging transport / hotel / meals, following up with the author, getting students and staff pumped for their visit, setting up, the big day and ongoing promos long after the author has left.

But now I’m getting to experience the beasts known as author visits, from the author’s POV. Suddenly I’m dealing with taking time off, arranging transport, confirming meals/hotel and because I’m one lucky lady – having my hubbie and my two crazy labs along for the ride.

As we reached our hotel yesterday (after a 6 hour drive), I flipped through the room service menu and  found this bookmark tucked inside. How appropriate. Yes, folks, we are on a JOY READ. 😉

Packing for two adults and two crazy labs involves a ton of creative thinking – but not the writer kind. My husband managed to cram all my gear in (books, books, books, laptop, camera, not to mention hair product!), along with his stuff and dog supples: crate, “blankets”, food dishes, toys, bones, leashes, etc. (We’re worse than new parents, I swear.)

We have a nifty system for traveling with the dogs – we’ve made several long trips with them before (Salt Spring Island in BC was the best trip EVER). Higgins, our chocolate lab has the back of our SUV, and Willow, our yellow lab, is tucked in her crate. No fighting while we’re on the road or playing – you have the window I want to look out of / do you want to look out this window? TOUGH!

Amidst the potty breaks and walks around road-side turnouts, I worked on my presentations, polishing documents on my laptop and getting my husband’s (and high school teacher) opinion on what writing process themes would best keep grade 7-12 kids interested.

I had a great time presenting a session this morning: Author Visits to DIE for: Virtual Author Visits – talking about all things writers currently do to promote their books (booktrailers, playlists, SWAG and social media) and how library staff can tap into those readily available resources. Plus I talked up Skype author visits and the Skype An Author Network. Highly recommened for public and school libraries wanting to connect readers and authors on a budget. I hope my session sparked some ideas and would love to hear success stories…hint, hint.

From the Parkland Regional Library conference in Lacombe, Alberta, we travelled through a touristy, but tres cool town, Sylvan Lake. Talk about beautiful pseudo-sea side homes!


I could so move there in a heartbeat. Lots of funky shops along the marina, pubs and restaurants, mini-golf, waterslides, go-carts and more. Nice. Making this a true, JOY READ, we stopped in a larger city, Red Deer, and checked out the Chapters. Low and behold, Under My Skin was on their shelves! I signed the copies and left some UMS swag. A very cool moment and I snagged a Chai latte too. 😉

One stop at a farmer’s field later and the dogs were in their element. Yes, they might have crushed some grass as they tromped through a section of field, but man, did they have energy to kill.

Tomorrow, I’ll be presenting to students from Rocky Mountain House. A teacher has read all (or most of) UMS aloud to her grade 10 English class. I can’t wait to see what kind of questions they ask….yikes! So that’s it in a nutshell, lots of travel, fast food, dog walks, planning a la car, promoting reading and writing, and exploring the country. Author visits ROCK. Everyone should get to do at least one JOY READ. Right, Willow? Woof! 😉

5 thoughts on “JOY READ: Author visits from the author’s POV

    1. Yeah, that was a great flick, What Lies Beneath, I think it was called. 😉 Now when I look at that pic it seems tooooo perfect. Creepy perfect. Thanks for that…lol…

  1. It sounds like your trip was really productive. How awesome that the tenth grade teacher was reading your book to her class. I got boring classics from 10th grade even into majoring in English. Contemporary American Literature was the most boring class- I had to read Deliverance. There had to have been something better than that out there. God to be able to teach Contemporary American Literature now. I’d have them read a book a night! So much to choose from.

    I love your labs. We have a yellow rescue lab. We almost always have a lab in our midst of dogs. No better companion in the world!

  2. Thanks Heather – unfortunately, they didn’t end up asking me any questions about UMS – and things went by so quickly I didn’t get to talk with the teachers, but the kids were cool. Especially the singer/songwriters and one girl with wicked style. She’s aware her clothes/hair might end up in book someday.;)

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