Valentine’s Day in Texas

Valentine’s Day is a popular date for author visits at schools probably because this is a ‘free’ day for most schools with students exchanging valentines and enjoying parties. As a result, every year we visit a different school on Valentine’s, and this year we spent the holiday in Texas.

On February 13th we returned to Liberty Christian School. Our first visit to this fabulous school in Argyle, Texas took place on November 1st in 2011. (Read my blog post about the first visit). The librarian, Yvonne Lacy, enjoyed our visit so much that she invited us to return and speak with the younger students at the school. In 2011 we spoke to students in 3rd through 6th grade, so this year we targeted kindergarden through 3rd. Our presentations took place in a new meeting room designed specifically for special programs.

12:45 – 1:15 PM  Kindergarten & 1st Grade
1:30 – 2:15 PM  2nd Grade
2:25 – 3:10 PM  3rd Grade

Matthew Shane Bronson preparing to speak with students at Liberty Christian School.

Matthew Shane Bronson preparing to speak with students at Liberty Christian School.

As before, Mrs. Lacy did a fantastic job preparing the students for our visit. Some of my favorite fan mail came from Liberty Christian School, and I still have this beautiful letter from Bella (dated November 2011) on display in my office where I can see it everyday:

Bella's Letter

“Dear Mr. & Mrs. Bronson,

I had a great time when you came to our school and I really like your cute books and I can’t wait to read new ones that you wrote! I love to write and illustrate. I also want to be the same thing you are right now! You inspired  me that its not those big animals that always matter. Your books tell us that even the smallest creatures are very special because God made them that way! Thanks!

Love from Liberty Christian

Bella

TIP: Keep writing!”

I am still writing, Bella!

*     *     *     *     *

That evening (February 13th) we had dinner at Zanata’s in downtown Rockwall, and I have to say it was one of the best meals I have ever had. If you ever visit Rockwall, Texas, go to Zanata’s!

*     *     *     *     *

The next day was Valentine’s, and we visited Heritage Christian Academy in Rockwall. Students gathered in the library to watch my program.

9:15 – 9:45 am K – 1st Grades
9:45 – 10:30 am 2nd – 4th Grades
10:30 – 11:15 am 5th – 6th Grades

We signed books for students in the school cafeteria during lunch, and we learned that one of the parents at the school is also an author. Anne Mateer has several books published with Bethany House. Her latest book, A Home For My Heart, will arrive in bookstores September 2013. Congrats Anne!

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Fan Mail From Liberty Christian School

As I sorted through a large pile of envelopes on my desk this afternoon, I found a stack of fan mail from students at Liberty Christian School. Here is a sample of pictures and letters the children made for me. (Read my original blog post about the author visit at Liberty Christian on November 1, 2011.)

Book Covers drawn by Hayden B. at Liberty Christian School

“Sea Horse, run!” and TINY SNAIL covers drawn by Hayden B.

Emily's Tiny Snail

TINY SNAIL cover drawn by Emily C.

Madison's Tiny Snail

TINY SNAIL cover drawn by Madison.

Drawing of Polliwog's Cover by Hayden at Liberty Christian School.

Polliwog cover drawn by Hayden S.

Tiny Snail Cover drawn by Tye at Liberty Christian School.

TINY SNAIL cover drawn by Tye.

A few students simply wrote letters instead of drawing a picture. This student forgot to sign their letter, but TINY SNAIL‘s message of perseverance and never give up made a big impression:

Liberty Christian Letter

“Thank you help me want to read more and to learn more of things learn as much I can and inspir’d me to write a book and write and try and never stop from your book the snail book”

*     *     *     *     *

Thankfully one student found my program both inspiring and entertaining:

Letter by Laura at Liberty Christian

“Thank you for coming. It helped me to do beter [better] in things. My favorite part was when you droo [drew] a frog. You inspired me to never give up. You’re very funny. Love Laura”

*     *     *     *     *

Avery's Letter

“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bronson,

I have always wanted to be a writer. I have [been] making up stories since I was three years old. Thank you for coming and talking to us about your books. My favorite book is ‘SEA HORSE, RUN!’. I really want to do picture books. Thank you for coming to the school and sharing about your books. You should keep writing!

Avery”

*     *     *     *     *

Bella's Envelope

One student sent their letter in a separate envelope they decorated especially for me!

Bella's Letter

“Dear Mr. & Mrs. Bronson,

I had a great time when you came to our school and I really like your cute books and I can’t wait to read new ones that you wrote! I love to write and illustrate. I also want to be the same thing you are right now! You inspired  me that its not those big animals that always matter. Your books tell us that even the smallest creatures are very special because God made them that way! Thanks!

Love from Liberty Christian

Bella

TIP: Keep writing!”

I will keep writing, Bella!

*     *     *     *     *

A BIG thank you to ALL of the students at Liberty Christian for sending such wonderful pictures and letters. I keep my fan mail, and I will treasure your words of encouragement. You keep writing, too!

My Author Visit at Liberty Christian School

The students and staff at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas gave me a warm welcome Tuesday morning, November 1st.  My program was in the Fine Arts Auditorium where they had a giant screen that lowered in front of the stage. The librarian, Yvonne Lacy, provided a document camera so I could project images of my books on the screen for 3rd through 6th grades.

3rd/4th Grades from 8:40 to 9:25 am
6th Grade from 9:45 to 10:30 am
5th Grade from 10:35 to 11:20 am

Mrs. Lacy did a fantastic job preparing the students for my visit. Many of them were serious writers in their own right and very interested in the publication process.

Librarian Yvonne Lacy & Tammy Bronson

Some popular questions from students included…

How many rewrites did you do for “Sea Horse, run!”? Answer: 19
How many copies of Tiny Snail are in print?

Mrs. Lytle’s 6th grade class wanted to know…

How many published titles do I have. Answer: Four. Tiny Snail (2000), Kaleidonotes (2001), Polliwog (2004), and Sea Horse, run!” (2011)

How many awards and honors have I received. Answer:  “Sea Horse, run!” has won two awards: 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Best Picture Book, and it is a Finalist in the USA Best Book Awards in the picture book category.

Three interesting facts about me.

Who or what has influenced my writing. Answer: My fellow Arkansas author, Darcy Pattison.

I was very impressed with the students, staff, and the amazing facilities at Liberty Christian. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit!

Here is a link to the lovely article about our visit on the Liberty Christian Website:

LCS Library Welcomes Visiting Authors