Guest Speaking for Michelle Medlock Adams at Taylor University

Talented, prolific and kind Michelle Medlock Adams is my children's book mentor.

Talented, prolific and kind Michelle Medlock Adams is my children’s book mentor.


Most writers owe their success/ progress to another writer or two.

I could list several from the former Fort Wayne Christian Writing Club who helped me get started writing—Jim Watkins, Linda Wade, Rosa Liston, to name a few. They patiently helped me learn the ins/outs of how to create something editors would want to publish. Thanks to all of you.

Jim Watkins is a talented Christian author and speaker.

Jim Watkins is a talented Christian author and speaker.

Taylor Swift Day by Day by Kayleen Reusser

Taylor Swift Day by Day by Kayleen Reusser


Taylor Swift Blue Banner Bio (Mitchell Lane)

Taylor Swift Blue Banner Bio (Mitchell Lane)


I took her advice and am I glad I did! I sent a letter of interest to the publisher and a sample of my work – a magazine article I had written about a child. We exchanged emails and soon a contract was on its way to my home! I had barely heard of the 16-year-old country singer they wanted me to write about. What could she have to say that people would want to know about? I thought. But I agreed to write the book.

The Blue Banner Biography on Taylor Swift is still in print today.

Since then, I’ve written 10 other children’s books—9 total with Mitchell Lane and 2 with another publisher to be released in 2014.

Publishing books changed my writing world. I’ve been a keynote speaker, guest on radio, TV, Internet shows, guest blogger, and asked to speak at libraries, schools, churches and civic groups.

Speaking to 5th graders at Park El. School in Fairmount. Photo by Cathy Shouse.

Speaking to 5th graders at Park El. School in Fairmount. Photo by Cathy Shouse.


So it was an honor to reciprocate Michelle’s help to me by guest speaking to her children’s writing class at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, last week.
She has been my writing mentor and I’m proud to tell people about her and her success. She has written dozens of children’s books for all ages from board books to Middle Grades. She also speaks and leads workshops at writing conferences.

Thanks, Michelle, I had a great time and your students were attentive and interesting. I wish all of you great success.

Who is your writing mentor? How has that person helped you in your career? What advice of theirs has helped steer your writing to the next level?

Hannah enjoys reading books about Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez

My sweet friend Hannah wanted me to show everyone how much she liked reading my books.

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Here she is holding my biographies on Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift. I’ve written another book on Taylor Swift. The one Hannah is holding is written for grades 1-3. It has gorgeous full color photos on each page with text that explains Taylor’s career and life as a singer.

 

I’ve written another title with more text but still beautiful full color  photos of Taylor Swift on each page. It is written for Grades 4-8. Of course, readers of all ages like to read this book about Taylor Swift and find out how she became such a superstar!

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I’ve written 9 non-fiction children’s books (Mitchell Lane Publishing). In 2012 another publisher contacted me to write children’s books for her and I agreed to do so.

 

Last fall I turned in two books for this publisher and they should be available for purchase in 2013. I’m excited about them and can’t wait to tell more about them at their release!

 

Meanwhile, I’m planning to attend the Midwest conference of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in May in Fort Wayne IN.

Here’s a
direct link to download the brochure with all the conference details: http://www.scbwi.org/Resources/Documents/

 

The list of authors attending is tremendous, including Jane Yolen!

Taylor Swift Blue Banner Bio (Mitchell Lane)

Taylor Swift Blue Banner Bio (Mitchell Lane)


Hopefully I’ll meet some authors, agents, publishers and maybe even get a contract to write more children’s books! Meanwhile, I’m reading their books to find out what publishers and kids like in books.

 

Writing children’s books is a tremendous responsibility and I don’t take it lightly. I read several each year to be able to recommend good titles to students at the middle school where I work in the library. Reading good books also gives me ideas for my own writing.

 

Currently, I’m reading Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt, Chime by Franny Billingsley and The 68 Rooms by Marianne Malone. I love them all!

Hop over to Vimeo to see my thoughts on writing children’s books.

What children’s books /authors do you love? What are you doing to accelerate your writing career?

Speaking to Mothers/Daughters Banquet at Zion United Methodist Church

I recently spoke at Zion United Methodist church’s Mother/Daughter banquet. This church is located on Fort Wayne’s west side. It was a small intimate group of ladies of all ages. Everyone was friendly and I had a wonderful time! The men of the church served us a delicious meal.

They asked me to speak about my journey as a writer of 22 years. I shared the struggles, disappointments and the dedication to sticking with it. Several people purchased my children’s books and my newest Chicken Soup book. It was a lovely evening.

Thanks to my friend, Doris Rapp, for arranging for me to speak there.

Lucy loves Selena!

Lucy is a friend of mine. She just read my book on Selena Gomez and told me she loved it! With her parents’ permission I’ve posted her picture here with a copy of the book. Biographies are great books to read to learn about people who have made a difference in the lives of other people.

 

I remember the first biography I read as a student:

 

Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom.

 

Hear that alliteration? I think that’s why the title has stayed with me all these years.

 

Frederick Douglass was a brave, intelligent man who was kept as a slave for many years before earning his freedom. I was thrilled to learn about his exciting life. That’s why I like writing biographies of people like Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Leona Lewis. These young women have set goals and obtained them, then set even higher goals.

 

They teach me a lot about how I should be living my life.

 

What books do you like to read? What goals have you set for your life?

 

Speaking appearance at Park Elementary School

Hades is 1 of 3 books I've written on the Greek gods.

I’m thrilled to be invited to speak to the 6th grade class at Park Elementary School on February 3. our subject will be the Greek gods. My thanks to teacher David Pyle and school principal Andrea Baker for inviting me.

 

The students are studying Greek mythology so it should be interesting. I’ll show them my three Greek gods books on Hermes, Hades and Hephaestus and explain what makes these gods unique.

Hermes was the messenger god.

After school, I’m headed to the Fairmount Public Library to give a book talk from 3-4pm. Thanks to librarian Linda Magers for helping with this appearance!

A bio on Taylor Swift was my first book.

My nine non-fiction children’s books will be on display. These include biographies of country music singer Taylor Swift and Disney actress Selena Gomez; three books on the Greek gods; Celebrities Giving Back and Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia contains 10 recipes/10 crafts.

Autographed copies of my books will be available for $15 each (cash only).

In celebration of my children’s book on Indonesia called Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia, I’ll distribute free candies from that country to visitors.

If you’re in the area and can stop by, please do! It should be a fun visit!

My Publishing Story as told to John Kremer

John Kremer is the guru of book marketing ideas

Today I have the honor of being featured on John Kremer’s blog. Mr. Kremer is the guru of book marketing. I’ve read his blog on this subject for years and have implemented many of his ideas to market my nine non-fiction children’s books.

A biography on Taylor Swift was the first of my nine children’s books to be published.

My particular post is titled:

Book Marketing Makeover: How One Author Got a Book Assignment That Led to 9 Titles

http://blog.bookmarket.com/2012/01/book-marketing-makeover-how-one-author.html 

I encourage everyone who wants to write or has written a book to subscribe to his free blog. 

You can subscribe here:

 http://www.bookmarket.com/

 

Mr. Kremer often features authors’ histories of getting started. It gives me hope when I read other success stories. I hope my story helps you feel encouraged to write and sell many books in 2012!

Please let me know what you think of this post and if you have other ideas of how to market books. I’m open to ideas!

I was the keynote speaker at the Canterbury Book Fair

Victoria Gray, daughter of friend Laurie Gray, likes to read my biography on Taylor Swift.

The third grade class taught by Nancy Vacanti listened as I talked with them about writing children’s books.
The second grade class taught by Tom Meyers asked questions about my children’s books.
The Bistro lunch included approximately 100 parents and educators.

This has been a fantastic week! On Wed. I was the keynote speaker at the Canterbury Book Fair in Fort Wayne. I spoke to a group of parents and educators at the Bistro lunch,  then I spoke to second and third grade classes at the school.

I have to say, this is probably the biggest book fair in the state of Indiana, if not the Midwest.

It was a 3-day event with opportunities for students, relatives, and the public to come inside and shop for quality books for kids of all ages. My speech mentioned my nine children’s books and several were sold at the fair. It was a great experience and I’m posting photos to share with all of you.

I’m available for book talks in schools and other settings. Please contact me for more information. wwwkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx  (remove the x’s)

Two other special writing events occurred to me this week which I’ll post soon.

Have a Happy Resurrection Sunday!