Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Virtuals (Holly Schindler)

I love virtual visits. 

I mean love. 

In the first place, I'm not much of a traveler. I'm enough of a lifelong introvert that the mere idea of getting on a plane for an author event makes me nauseous. 

Besides that, travel is expensive. And time-consuming. It's never just hte time you spend on the road, either. You have to prepare--and I don't mean just pack. You have to mentally get ready to perform, in a sense. 

But virtual visits?

I can be anywhere, on any date. I can be writing up until ten minutes until the actual presentation. I'm sill here, where I can take care of my family. I don't have to make separate arrangements. I'm home, which means I'm still in my comfort zone, and am more relaxed when we have our visits. 

When The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky hit state readers' lists, the requests for visits exploded. I accepted all those requests, as long as the schools were willing to let me meet virtually--even the schools near my own hometown. By doing it that way, I was able to meet with every single school that asked. I had time for them all. I didn't have to turn a single class down because of a scheduling conflict. 

And it was wonderful.

I met with honors classes and book clubs. I met with students who were already established readers and with kids who were described as "kinda readers" by their librarians. I saw the original artwork inspired by the book. I met with kids in so many states--Minnesota and Iowa and Ohio and Texas and Florida and Arkansas and Massachusetts and Oregon, etc.

I wouldn't have been able to go to half of those schools, without the possibility of virtual visits. 

Virtuals have also given me the ability to be part of an audience. When a California-based school brought The Junction to the stage, I was able to see it! The class wrote the script, designed the set, the whole shebang. I watched two different productions (with two different sets of actors). 

And it was wonderful.

I'd never have been able to see it, without the magic of virtual visits. 

I'm so grateful I live and write in an era when it's possible to be in any state at any given time. That moment when the light comes on my webcam is one of the most exciting moments of all...


Holly Schindler is an award-winning author of books for readers of all ages. Her MG The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky now has an accompanying activity book. Check for more info.