There are only six weeks left in 2013. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??!! I have no idea. Other than that whole Earth revolving around the sun thing.
The rest of this year includes a few school visits and lots and lots of writing. My writing “To-Do” list includes:
Other side project
I am ridiculous. But I can’t help but work on multiple things at once because I am so excited about all of them. News on this sometime soon. Speaking of news I can’t talk about yet…I’ve hinted at a picture book that will be coming and yeah…just more hints for a WEE BIT longer. We’ll announce it soon and I can’t wait to talk about the details of this project.
But my “Work In Project” is THE CLASSROOM book 4. And when I outlined the whole book, I cried at the ending. CRIED!!! I didn’t realize how much I’ve loved these little fictional characters as if they were real. *sniff. But book 3 comes out next June and it’s titled TRICK OUT MY SCHOOL. Cover coming very soon! I’m in love with book 3. I hope you guys will be too.
Meanwhile, I just got back from the Vegas Valley Book Festival. My publicist sent some pictures…here I am working and…um…not working.
I’m not sure how to explain this picture. It happened.
As a former middle school teacher, talking to students about writing is my favorite part of the job. It’s why I pursued this dream of becoming a children’s book author. I mean, I get to talk about my biggest passion ALL THE TIME. Pinch me!!
I am available to speak to classrooms, large audiences, and small breakout groups (i.e. lunch with teachers, or the school newspaper staff, etc.). My presentations address several Common Core Curriculum standards and a teacher discussion guide for THE CLASSROOM is available online. Full day events include 3 presentations (of any size) as well as 1 break-out session. Half day events include 2 presentations (of any size). Pre-orders can be handled through a local book seller or through my publisher, Disney-Hyperion. For information on my pricing and availability, email me at robinmellombooks[at]gmail.com
AVAILABLE PRESENTATIONS: (30-40 minutes, plus time for Q&A; available for grades 3-8)
Books and Quirky Characters
Enjoy readings, humorous stories, and illustrations from THE CLASSROOM series. I share my writing process and students will come away with specific writing techniques to make their writing better immediately.
(RL3, RL6, RL7, RI6, W3, W4, W5)*
From Idea to Publication
I share my journey from secret childhood writer to classroom teacher to full time published author. Students will learn about my writing process, specific writing techniques, and will hopefully come away feeling inspired to write their own stories.
( W4, W5, W6, W10)*
Plot your story like a screenplay. Think movie magic and learn to write cinematically.
(RL3, RL6,RL7, W3, W4)*
Writing Contemporary Humor
Infuse humor into any genre of writing through unique phrasing, snappy dialog, surprise for the reader and much more.
(RL6, RI6, W3, W4)*
* The Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
And check out this fabulous video put together by the students of Glynn Middle School:
“We had great feedback from students and teachers about how much they enjoyed your presentations. I received emails from parents who heard all about you and your books from their children! Our teachers were thrilled that your writing tips exactly matched what they were currently teaching their students. Thanks for a most memorable day!” ~Elementary school media specialist
“Today I sent an e-mail to a lot of my media specialists friends telling them about how much my students enjoyed Robin’s books, and they should have her come to their school. I can’t tell you how fast her books are flying off the shelf. Robin is a very talented writer. I love that she writes books that are funny that all children can relate to!” ~Elementary school media specialist
“I don’t remember the last time I read a book, but after I read The Classroom I remembered how much I love to read!” ~Fourth grade student
“You have inspired me to write my own books!!!! The book (The Classroom) taught me a great lesson which is do what is the right thing and to help your friends when they need it. As long as you keep writing, I’ll keep reading!” ~Fifth grade student
My book tour through Georgia, South Carolina and California was FANTASTIC. I saw over 2,000 students and the inside of many, many Hampton Inns. I toured around with my parents (adorable, right?) and they made this magnetic door sign for the car…
Before we hit the road though, I had to hit up DragonCon in Atlanta. Here is my new friend… (don’t judge)
My son LOVED this picture though he had no idea what a “Charlie’s Angels pose” was.
I visited my own middle school, Crabapple Middle School.
I also met with several groups of teachers to share the teacher’s discussion guide that Disney made for THE CLASSROOM. It was awesome to get back in the schools and work with teachers again.
The group in the picture above was my largest group…360 sixth graders. Gulp! But they were awesome.
I only hit up the WH once. ONCE. Which means I’m going to have to plan a trip back to the south very soon.
The second book in THE CLASSROOM series releases today! This book was crazy fun to write. It involves an election and, of course, everything falls apart–it even includes a visit from dudes in HAZMAT suits:
And CLICK HERE to read the first chapter…hope you enjoy! Thanks for your support of this series!!
I started teaching fifth grade back in 1992. (Oh sheesh, that was a long time ago. Richard Marx and Bryan Adams were popular. What were you thinking, 1992?)
Anyway. After lunch each day, I would read out loud to my students and their most common request was for me to read a funny book. At the time, they were hard to come by. So I ended up reading SIDEWAYS STORIES FROM WAYSIDE SCHOOL over and over and over. They couldn’t get enough!
That was when I decided to take my childhood dream of writing and turn it into something REAL. I decided to write funny books for middle schoolers. It took many years for that dream to be realized, but I am so grateful that I get to do this thing I love. I pinch myself daily.
While I was teaching, I tried hard to get my students to not just read, but to ENJOY reading. So I had my own library of books in my classroom with books I thought they would adore. In order to do this, I would spend many weekends at the Oxford Bookstore in Atlanta, hunting for my favorites.
I still have many of those books. See some familiar titles?
I spent lots of money to keep my bookshelf full. So that’s why I’d like to give one of my books from THE CLASSROOM series to a teacher building a library. If you are a teacher–or if you know of a teacher who would love to have a copy–then leave me a comment. Let me know your grade level and if you’d like book 1 or book 2 (or both). I will select three winners!!!
Thank you to all the teachers who give our kids the most important gift: the love of reading.
I do believe it’s time for an update! Lately I’ve been deep in the revision cave working on CLASSROOM book 3 as well as my next teen book, BUSTED. And then–out of nowhere–I was attacked by a picture book idea. I tried to talk her down, explaining I really didn’t have time to deal with her right now. Nope. She insisted, so fine. I’ve been in the cave working on THREE projects. In related news: my family misses me.
But it’s baseball season. The boys are fine.
Since it’s summer, it gets a little harder to work at the house since there are groups of ten-year olds running around. It’s a blur of baseball hats and video game controllers and Capri Sun. So in order to concentrate, I sometimes have to go the lovely place called SOMEWHERE ELSE. Recently it was a parking lot. It’s glamorous part of writing.
[The office. Honda style.]
But then Author Christmas happened. My books arrived!!
Book 2 releases in a couple of weeks. June 25th. I’ll post again soon with updates on a blog tour and giveaways, plus my appearances this fall in Georgia, South Carolina, and Los Angeles. I’m calling it the “BE EPIC” tour. Can’t wait to share all the details soon!
I’m holding my next video chat next Monday night on writing humor in middle grade and young adult. I’ll share tips on how to infuse humor into any genre. Topics include:
rule of three (how and when to use it)
“the call back”
how to surprise your reader
The fee includes a copy of my middle grade novel, THE CLASSROOM, and my young adult novel, DITCHED. There are a few spots left, so head over to my agent’s website to sign up and read up on all the details: A Path To Publishing–Humor Workshop
But there’s a BONUS! Three of you who participate will be picked at random to win a signed copy of THE CLASSROOM book 2 before it even hits stores!
And just for fun, here are a couple of inside pages from book 2 (coming June 25th)…click to enlarge!
Also, if you click on the T-for-Twitter button below to share this post, I would consider you totally lovely. Yay, you lovely person!!
The video chat I held went very well. The feedback I received was awesome (and heartwarming). So I’m holding another one! The format will be a little different this time. It will be longer (90 minutes) and I’ll cover many topics that I wasn’t able to get to in the last chat. (How to write funny dialog, using similes to your advantage, how to charm your readers with THE UNEXPECTED, and more!)
There is a fee but the cool part is it includes BOTH of my books. A copy of THE CLASSROOM and DITCHED will be mailed to you, and hopefully you’ll have a chance to read through them before the chat. It will be held on April 8th and you can find all the details and how to sign up by going to my agent’s website:
ALSO! A reminder just in case you haven’t seen all the tweets and Facebook posts on this…
This Saturday is the mega teen author event at Disneyland. So get your park-hopper ticket and come join me! We’ll be tweeting and posting pictures all throughout the day (probably to the point of annoyance) so don’t miss out!!
If you can’t be there, be sure to follow along and comment using our twitter hashtag: #YAPPIEST
Click on the image to see all the AMAZING authors who will be there…
Writing Contemporary Humor For Young Adult & Middle Grade
Lately we’ve been hearing agents and editors ask for contemporary young adult (romantic comedies in particular) as well as funny books for middle grade. I have a six-book contract with Disney-Hyperion to write all contemporary humor. I have lots of thoughts about this subject, so…let’s chat about it!
I’m holding a free online video chat on Monday, March 18th from 5:30-6:30 PST. It’s an interactive discussion on writing contemporary humor. I’ll share my insights on how I approach my teen comedies compared to my humorous middle grade series. And I’d love to hear what you like (and don’t like) in humorous books for kids.
This won’t be Skype—it’s a new video chat technology I’m using thanks to my lovely agent, Jill Corcoran. She is using it for her online workshops with editors and agents over at A Path To Publishing. (She has an AMAZING lineup of speakers…go check it out!)
Jill likes to refer to it as “Skype on Steroids!” (I love that description.) It’s also true—I will be able to toggle between talking to you WITH MY FACE, to my computer screen where I can share Powerpoint slides, videos, anything! And everyone will get the chance to ask questions all along the way.
The first twenty people who sign up will receive an email 30-60 minutes before the start time. Just a couple of clicks and you’re IN—it’s amazingly easy. If I get more than twenty, that’s ok, go ahead and put your name in since some people may have to drop out.
In the comments section, leave me your name and email address and any questions you have.
The first book in my middle grade series, THE CLASSROOM: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet Epic Kid, is now available from Disney-Hyperion. It's a mockumentary of life in seventh grade...oh, the awkwardness.
And my teen novel, DITCHED: A Love Story, is about a 16-year old girl who has one of those nights she'll always remember (and a prom she wants to forget). Check out the Teen Books section for an excerpt!