Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Famous For A Day

It's no secret I love doing school visits. They're my favorite form of promotion because I love talking to kids of all ages. I recently did a school visit at Blairstown Elementary School that involved three presentations and it was such a rewarding experience. It reminded me of something very important, something writers tend to forget. Famous doesn't have to mean you're a NYT best seller. 

When I walked into the school, people knew who I was. That baffled me at first. Especially when kids were whispering in the hallway, "That's Kelly Hashway." My first thought was, "They know my name?" That's when I discovered why. The librarian had purchased all of my children's books and had been reading them with the different grade levels. 

I saw this bulletin board of my books and the students reading them:


And then there were these displays in the library:



But the truly awesome thing was what wallpapered the sides of the librarian's desk. The kids had written to me and illustrated their favorite parts of my books:




I gave three presentations to encompass grades Pre-K through sixth, and while I was losing my voice, I'd do it all over in a heartbeat because these kids made me feel like a superstar for the day. They reminded me that even if you don't make millions from writing, you're still touching lives. Every "I love your books" I got was like someone handing me a big sack of money. No, it was better because it meant more to me.

So thank you, Blairstown Elementary School for letting me visit and making me feel so special.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

34 comments:

  1. My heart. If this post touched me to the point my eyes got kind of wet I can't imagine you Kelly. So wonderful. Definitely better than any amount of cash. The wall paper of letters to you melted me.

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  2. That display of you in the library is pure gold to me. Brought a few sniffs as I read about it. This is true stardom to me - your work influencing others in a positive way. #trueblessing

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    1. It was a great reminder that this is what it's all about. :)

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  3. Kelly, I'm so happy for you. That must have been amazing. Not many of us have a day like that, that's for sure. I'm glad it happened for you.

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  4. That has to be the biggest compliment ever! For schools to support authors in this way is amazing. You are truly blessed to be involved with these schools and their children, Kelly. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks, Diane. It was an incredible experience.

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  5. Aw! I love it. There's nothing like being able to influence young minds. You ARE famous. =)

    Crystal Collier

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    1. LOL Not quite famous, but I'll take famous for a day. ;)

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  6. That was one thing that surprised me at my first school visit--I couldn't figure out how the kids knew me! But it was because the teacher had told them I was coming right before. It makes a BIG difference when the school supports the author and actually buys her books and introduces them to the kids. I've done visits where they didn't buy the book even for the library and they wouldn't let the author sell them...so it sold pretty much zero books. I'm a lot more cautious about the visits I accept now. They have to either read the book before I come or let me sell the book afterward.

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    1. Yeah, it makes a big difference! I really like the way they set it up.

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  7. Sounds like a great day with the kids!

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  8. How neat! And how exciting for those kids. We never had an author in at my grade school, and I'm so glad these days that YA/MG/PB author visits seem to be on the rise.

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    1. I never had an author visit until I was in college.

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  9. Love the photos Kelly. I had my first visit yesterday. It was fun. I was told one teacher is going to use my book as a class reading assignment.

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    1. That's great! I love when the teachers read the books with the kids.

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  10. How wonderful. The joys of writing for children. Great pictures and awesome memories. I wish the schools around here were more receptive to authors. Oh, well. So happy the students were ready for you and excited about your visit.

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    1. Schools should be receptive to authors. It's such a great experience for everyone involved.

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  11. What an awesome experience. Sounds like an amazing librarian too! They really got the kids ready, prepared, and excited. So glad you had such a great day. :)
    ~Jess

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  12. Oh wow, that is so sweet! The school librarian did a fantastic job. So happy for you, Kelly.

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  13. What a wonderful experience, and such a fantastic librarian!

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    1. Yes. I still can't get over how amazing it was.

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  14. I always felt queasy about fame, though I have no objection to fortune... Don't doubt you are famous, Kelly. When I mention your blog others know it.

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  15. That's so cool! And kudo's to that wonderful teacher who helped it all happen. I love doing book signings in my home town. I always feel like "a star for day" when I go there! Good for the ego that's for sure!

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    1. Home towns are great for making you feel like a star. ;)

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  16. How nice. What a worthwhile experience. Thanks for sharing it.

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