Thursday, January 15, 2015

Reflections from the Road: The Altamont School

Last Friday I spoke to 172 kids ranging 5th to 8th grade at The Altamont School in Birmingham. This is a private school with a history of literary achievement among its alumni. As you walk in, you pass between two glass cases showcasingall the books that former students have written. Several famous names, including Daniel Wallace(Big Fish). It made me wish that I had gone to Altamont, so that Frostborn could be there as well!

Their brand new theater space was one of the nicest I've been in in 19 or so school visits. Incredible stage, lights, acoustics, etc... (and thank you to Jack for handling sound and lights during the show!) It was an incredible 45 minutes, and I've discovered that I am happiest--and best--when you give me a wireless mic. I was running up and down the seats, asking questions of the audience like the most hyper active talk show host ever.

Then they put me in a conference room and let kids who had bought the book eat lunch with me, ask questions and get their copy signed. And the kids were great. Tons of questions about other locations on the world, the game, lots of "where can I buy this?" on the board and card game, lots of questions about future books etc... Also, these kids are sneaky - their boundless enthusiasm got me to open up about all kinds of secret details of the world, stuff I haven't told anyone yet.

They then took me to the lunchroom to eat with the teachers, where we had a very energetic discussion of writing and film. Altamont has a great cafeteria, and the conversation was fun. (The Avengers is too a perfect film, and I'm not changing my mind.)

Thank you to Mary Martin (Librarian) for arranging the visit, Thomas Goldsmith (Director of Admissions) for taking care of me upon arrival, Margaret Whiteside (Marketing & Communications) for the pictures, Altamont-parent and old friend Tad Lidikay for dropping by, and all of the wonderful students and faculty. I had a great time and it's so gratifying to hear you all did as well.

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