Author Visits FAQ
Cost per day or week?
When requiring an overnight stay my honorarium is $1,250.00 per day. In addition, airfare, car, and accommodations, (with a food budget) is also covered by the schools. This honorarium includes the pre-planning before the residency, the travel days necessary, as well as the days of work within a school. If more than one day is required in a single school, the second day is $1,100, only.
This daily rate includes six books ($16.00 or $17.00 each, hardcover, $8.00 paper) and one Host a Vocabulary Parade Curriculum Kit, all sent ahead, before the residency begins. (One set per school.)
Number of sessions you will do per day?
I will offer three large group sessions per day, (ONLY THREE), a Lunch-With-the-Author session if a school would like (or with faculty, if preferred, this is optional with each school), autographing session by day’s end, and an optional (but highly recommended), 20 to 45 minute faculty session before or after the school visit. Sometimes communities hosting several school visits prefer to schedule an Author Dinner with a longer program, for interested faculty in all of the schools. (Sometimes the local Reading Council sponsors this, too, outside of the school contract.)
Length of each session? (primary and intermediate groups)
Session length depends upon the school’s needs. I like to have one hour with each group, 45 minutes with K‑1 grades, though I have had very good results with the youngest students, even when included within the longer primary session. The autographing session depends on the amount of books needing attention. The optional Faculty session focuses on how to use my books in the classroom, and the length is determined by each school. Ideas for how to structure an Eat-With-the-Author Lunch can be discussed. (Some schools hold an essay contest, some use it as awards for past efforts, etc. Most order pizza and salads, hold it in the library.)
How many students can you speak with at a time?
I can speak to a great many students, as many as 400, if an auditorium is available. Note: The larger the audience the more important it is to have a darkened room for the slide presentation and a large screen, or even a white wall, if well viewed. For very large audiences, gyms can be used, as well as high school auditoriums. Whenever possible it is best to keep the group to between one and two hundred at a time. Smaller groups are always best, (under 100 is a dream) but often school numbers do not permit such a structure.
I travel with my own projector, computer, and wireless image advancer. I need a media cart, three plugs (usually requires an outlet strip or extension cord, unless the cart is multi-plugged), and a large screen.
Often, controlling the lights in large spaces (gyms, auditoriums, etc) requires a short lesson from a staff person, and someone to manage turning them on and off during the presentations.
Because I both write AND illustrate, my sessions require a room that can be darkened so I can show images. I bring my own LCD projector, so some minimum light can be tolerated, but the darker the room the better focused the students. I am quite passionate about the creative process and focus my talks on how we collect ideas, how we edit those ideas, and how a finished work is a long journey, like following a mystery, to get to a book. A darkened room is essential to giving the best presentation possible.
Can you list your books in print. Any new books coming out soon?
A Fabulous Fair Alphabet, was published by Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in 2010. On my website you can find how to create The Fabulous Alphabet Fair where the school carnival is transformed into a vocabulary strengthening event.
SPIKE, Ugliest Dog in the Universe is coming Fall, 2013. The art collages use worn blue jeans to tell the story of a dog who asks us not to judge a book — or a dog — by its cover!
A publisher determines the paperback schedule of a book and only these books are offered in paperback editions. (HMH = Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; S&S = Simon & Schuster)
Available in Paperback
Out of the Ocean, English (HMH)
Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster, English, (HMH)
On the Day You Were Born, panish edition out of print, sometimes found online (HMH)
On the Day You Were Born, (HMH)
Out of the Ocean, (HMH)
Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster, (HMH)
The Incredible Water Show, (HMH)
A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake, (HMH)
A Fabulous Fair Alphabet, (S&S)
Spike: Ugliest Dog in the Universe, (S&S)
In the Space of the Sky, written by Richard Lewis, (out of print, HMH)
We Got Here Together, written by Kim Stafford, (out of print, HMH)
The Animal That Drank Up Sound, written by William Stafford (out of print/rare, HMH)