We got a great e-mail from Kyle Mewburn, author of Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! all about his recent book tour. For those of you interested in what it is like to be a children’s author on the road, here is a bit of insight for you.
“I’ve been back home for 2 weeks now, so thought it was about time I sent a little de-brief to keep you up-to-date. I’ve also asked the schools I visited to send me some feedback, so I thought I’d pass some of them onto you as well.
My trip all went without a hitch (I was driving myself mostly – haha!) apart from the almost mandatory cold with subsequent almost-loss-of-voice. Possibly having to do 8 talks most days, including a couple in an echoey gym-full of 600 kids without a microphone, had something to do with it!
I had an amazing time, and got a wonderful rsponse from the kids. Everyone from Salisbury to North Dakota were very friendly and warm, and went out of their way to make sure everything went smoothly. They couldn’t do enough for me. Much of the time I felt like a rockstar!! 
I visited at least 2 schools a day most days, sometimes 4. In Salisbury, I did 15 talks in 2 days – everything from Kindergarten to Elementary, to Salisbury Uni students and the Eastern Shore Reading Council. My presentations went down really well, especially once I’d mastered the art of using a microphone and reading my stories from a powerpoint! 
I signed several hundred books while I was there, and all the librarians were very keen to get more copies of Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! plus my other titles.

My 3 hour presentation at the library conference also went well… sort of. Actually, my blender suddenly developed a leak towards the end, and a pool of pink milk started spreading across the table. Minor pandemonium broke out as all the librarians rushed to get paper towels etc to stop the stuff dribbling onto the carpet. Not sure how it happened, but  we guess a jelly snake got caught around the blade and instead of getting blended, started unscrewing the bottom seal.
It was quite fun, really, especially once I realised I HADN’T broken the
borrowed blender. It was the talk of the conference the next morning, I can tell you! Great way to endear yourself to librarians – create a near-disaster!!  (I possibly should explain the talk I gave was called ‘Spinach Ice-cream’ and involved talking about my journey to becoming a picture book writer, plus my philosophy about what makes a good picture book etc.)”

And now for my favorite part. Here are responses from the kids that Kyle spoke with and told stories too:
  • “Thank you for Reading to us.  I liked Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck!  My mom is the same way.”   Preston (grade 3)
  • “I love Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! cause that kid is in a situation with his aunt.  I love the book!”  Gabbi (grade 5)
  • “I love your accent, and how you told us about your life.  I liked how you read your books.  You are full of humor.”  Lakota (grade 5)
  • “I Love your book, Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck!  You are hilarious!  Your accent is cool!  I think it’s cool that you live in New Zealand.  Your house is really cool, and you have very funny jokes.  Thanks for coming to our school!”  Kali (grade 5)
  • “I like all of your books they are very funny, especially Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck!   Awesome presentation.”  Megan (grade 5)
  • “I loved your books,  they are cool.”  Logan (grade 5)
  • “I loved your book Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! it is very funny.  I had a lot of fun listening to it.  Thank you for coming to our school, because I know you had a lot of choices.  I hope to read one of your other books real soon.”  Brody  (grade 5)
  • “Thank you for coming to Lewis & Clark.  I love Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! You could write a book about a beaver in my bathtub.”  Alex (grade 4)
  • “Thank you for reading to us.”  Aracely  (grade 3)
  • “Thank you for reading to us!  Do you remember my Grandmother?  Her name is Paulette.  
  • “I like Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! it’s my favorite book!”  Keegan (grade 3)
Clearly, Kyle had a wonderful visit to the states and really connected with the kids he was speaking to. What experiences have you had with authors? Which author stands out in your mind as your favorite? What made their visit so great?