I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Simone Elkeles, and NY Times bestselling author of
and… well I could list all her titles, but why don’t you just go check out her awesome website. Isn’t the animation cool?
Anywhooo, late last year, Ms. Elkeles did a school visit at CHS, the school where my brother-in-law teaches.
Is it okay if I call her Simone? For some reason I feel weird doing so. She did autograph my book and give me a hug. She even commented on my perfume. Okay – I will…
Simone spoke with the students. (Notice I used the word with, not to?) Her conversational dialogue with the students was amazing. She was just so down-to-earth, funny and approachable. She kept it real for the students and made them feel appreciated. A great model for those aspiring authors out there to remember when we become published and go on school visits.
There is a large Hispanic population at CHS and the students were so excited to talk about Alex, the male protagonist in Perfect Chemistry. In case you haven’t read the book, Alex is totally swoon-worthy. He is one of my favorite male protagonists – ever! Did you see my Perfect Chemistry book review? Perfect Chemistry really struck a chord with these students. I could see it in their smiling faces and hear it in their passionate voices.
The students asked excellent questions, such as how she learned about the Hispanic culture and did she really do research by hanging out with a gang. (Yes she did!!) They were so excited to hear how she came up with the characters, asked about character motivations, and **SPOILER ALERT** why she killed off one of their favorite characters. To answer, Simone described why an author has to do things to the characters to create an emotional response in the reader. Wonderful advice for an aspiring author.
Simone seemed to truly enjoy visiting with the students and always had a smile on her face. I could totally see myself going to Starbucks and hanging out with her for awhile. Simone if you read this – It will be my treat…
Me and Simone