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School Visits and Speaking

Iíve done more that 250 author visits at schools and libraries, and presentations to businesses, book clubs, civic organizations, such as Friends of the Library, Rotary, Newcomers, and others.

Rates vary depending on the number of presentations, size of audiences, and travel time. I can also visit via Skype. Contact me for details.


  • "The Inside Story: From Idea to Bookshelf"
  • "Nitty-Gritty Grammar: A Not-So-Serious Look at Grammar Basics"
  • "How to Write for the Children's Market" (for teens and adults)
  • "Teleporting into Greek and Latin"

I can also tailor presentations to your needs.


I hold a California Life Teaching Credential, have taught for years (elementary and junior high, plus SDSU Extension classes on writing and grammar for 20 years), have written over 1000 pieces for newspapers and magazines: how-to and science articles, stories, humor, puzzles, rebus, columns. I've written 15 books with more in the works.

Note about school visits

I'm fine with presenting to small groups (one or two classes) or larger (three or four classes). I tailor the presentation to the grade level(s).

If you have students who are especially keen on words and writing, I'll meet with them at the lunch hour to talk informally about the process. (Fifteen students, max.)

Visiting your group takes time and planning.

Once a date is confirmed, please follow these steps:

Before the Speaking Date

Please send me this information:

  • Contact person: Name, position, phone numbers, fax, email.
  • The full name and address of the site and directions for getting there; principal's name, secretary's name.
  • Where to park, location of office and presentation room
  • For small groups, I don't need a mic; for larger groups, a mic helps (lavaliere is handy—I talk with my hands!).
  • Be sure you have my phone, fax, and cell phone numbers.
  • Send written confirmation of time, date, and payment arrangements.

The Day of the Event

I'll need:

  • Computer, overhead projector, screen or white wall
  • A couple of long tables to display the things I cart with me

Iíll arrive with a PPT presentation on thumb drive, plus back-up disk.

If people would like to buy books before the event, you can pre-sell them. I'll provide a sell-sheet to send home with students. I'll sign the books ahead of time. Ask how to make this a fundraiser for your school's media center.

Here's great advice from Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz for arranging author visits to your school or library: http://www.tonibuzzeo.com/visits.php

Audience Feedback


"I loved the assembly. Hearing how you make books really helped me, because I want to write books like you."

"We all loved the book CryptoMania! We especially like the phrase terra firma, meaning solid earth."

"Thank you so much for coming to our school. You are my inspiration. I want to make a dictionary myself. Please come to our school again."

"I really learned a lot from you. I thought Under the Lemon Moon was a great story I liked it when we clucked like the chicken Blanca and made hand butterflies. It was cool."


"Your presentation was a tremendous success. You gave the children a new insight into book publishing. The ease with which you related to the students was refreshing and engaging. The dinosaur section in CryptoMania! was a huge hit—the creative seed was definitely planted. Your dedication and kindness are apparent and the inspiration to be creative is contagious. A memorable experience!"

"Today when our Reading and Language Arts Conference ended, the students were still talking about your wonderful presentation. Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge with us. You were terrific."

"Thank you so much for your wonderful keynote session. Many participants commented to me about the ideas you sparked—I'd venture to say that everyone will be teaching their vocabulary differently from now on!"

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