Kids Plotting with Dad
My two youngest children have been really cute lately. They have insisted on helping me plot out the second book in The Shadow Magic Series – The Shadow’s Servant. Ellie, my youngest daughter, read and enjoyed the first book, so she takes this very seriously. To do this, we decided to take a bunch of index cards and write down potential plot points, and post them up on the back of my study doors. This way, we can move them around until the story flows like I’d like. My wife likes to keep the study doors open, so, if the index cards are on the back of the doors, they are secretly out of sight – passing the wife test. She likes the walls bare and clean-looking. I’m making progress on the draft. The children have come up with some excellent ideas, and I think I’m going to figure out a way to use one or two of them. At a minimum, we can laugh about it around a campfire one day, right? (Xander really wants a stone army in the book. I think I can work that in…)
The Shadow’s Servant Plot
Here’s the output—A whole bunch of note cards with different scenes from The Shadow’s Servant. It was fun!
Middle Grade Book Signing
Recently I had the opportunity to visit Venture Academy and spend some time with its middle graders during their Student Lead Conference and Book Fair. It ended up being a great book signing. I laughed as the kids tried to inconspicuously sneak a peak of The Magic Shop book trailer running on a loop on my iPad, or full on try to watch the entire thing out of the corner of their eye.
I had a boy exclaim “Woah!” when he saw the book cover, and B-lined to flip it over and read the copy on the back. Apparently Brandon Mull was at the schooler earlier in the day, and some of the children told me all about what he had to say. It was great fun.
I want to thank the factually and staff for having me. They treated me very well. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of The Magic Shop went back to the school to support the kids learning and reading.
Also, I have to acknowledge my wonderful wife who set the whole thing up for me. Good times.
The Swapp’s had a lot of fun on Thanksgiving morning. My brothers-in-law organized a little skeet shooting for everyone before the day’s festive events. It was the first time my youngest son, Alexander (“Xander”) got to (read: dared) to shoot a rifle. I tried to instill a proper sense of respect for a firearm, but I think I spooked him at first. In the end, he came around, and shot the rifle a couple of times. Thank goodness one of his uncles brought a wad of socks (all clumped together) as padding for the boys. Those rifles have a bit of a kick from a youngster’s perspective.
Hopefully you enjoyed your thanksgiving as well, surrounded by family and friends.
I was excited to be invited back to the local Hastings to participate in a 40 + author book signing. I got to meet some very nice people, and to spend some time with an old friend/author/co-worker of mine, Amy Wilde. She wrote a very inspirational Memoir entitled, White Bees that has caused a ton of tears. I might start calling her Noah. Her long time friend, Karen Sunderland stopped by and spoke to us too. She has an amazing food storage cook book (the cover had the power to make me hungry, even though I had just eaten.) She’s been in the industry for a while, and shared some nice best practices.
I also got to chat with some other interesting authors, and to discuss how they approach things. I probably spent the most time with S.R. Ford. He has written some great fantasy that you might want to check out.
My youngest daughter, Ellie, decided that she wanted to come to the signing with me. She was adorable. Not only did she walk around and talk to everyone as if she was my agent, when she got bored, she asked if she could take a copy of The Magic Shop and walk around the store and approach customers about visiting the authors and buying the book. She’s going to go places.
Now, she may be outgoing, but that doesn’t mean that the pictures she took came out as amazing as she is. 🙂 I’ve posted them below. (A ++ for effort and attitude.)
Hastings promotional flyer. A list of the authors in attendance.
Authors Justin Swapp (The Magic Shop), and Amy Wilde (White Bees)
Authors talking (Karen Sunderland, Amy Wilde, and Justin Swapp)
A stack of awesome
The Magic Shop visiting the Best Seller shelf
Justin Swapp at the Hastings book signing
Various authors waiting for customers