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Book Reading / Signing

7 Apr

Book-reading-signing-event

The 3 little actors that performed The Basement skit from the 'Weapons' Chapter.

The 3 little actors rehearsing for a play based on the ‘Weapons’ Chapter from The Basement.

 

My first Book Reading/Signing event took place on Friday at GMAA, a private school in Westchester, Florida.  I was very nervous (I always am before any event), but excited at the same time.  I was going to be reading to kids between the ages of eleven and sixteen. Tough crowd – or so I thought.  

 

The night before the reading, my little seventeen-year-old Pomeranian gave me a bad night.  He kept getting up and walking from one end of the bed to the other, over and over again, while making a noise I call a cough, but it’s more like loudly coughing, wheezing and clearing his throat at the same time.  I got up and took him to the kitchen to see if he wanted some water.  He drank, and I brought him back to bed.  He was quiet for a minute, and then began walking and coughing again. I got up for a second time and took him outside to see if he wanted to do something.  Nothing.  Well, this went on until one thirty in the morning, when he finally settled down and fell asleep.  This has happened before and I’ve told his vet about it on several occasions, but she explains there’s nothing that can be done about it.  He takes a bunch of pills for several things already (poor thing). He’s just very old.  After a sleepless night, he had some sort of episode in the morning that had me in tears. I almost cancelled the reading, but fortunately he seemed to get better.  

 

Rascal

Rascal

Right before leaving my house, I misplaced my keys and spent at least ten minutes looking for them. I always put my keys in the same place so that I always know where to find them, but of course this morning was not going as planned. When I finally found my keys, I stormed out the door (without breakfast) and ran into a terrible traffic jam.  It seemed like there were terrible forces conspiring against me. Everything that could go wrong was happening on this important day.

 Book Reading-signing-event-vashtiquirozvega

My fortunes changed once I finally arrived at the school. My sister Cleo greeted me very warmly. You see, Cleo is a music teacher at this prestigious school. Her children (Natasha, Vanessa and Joshua), were ages 17, 23 and 12 when they read my book and loved the story. Cleo read it and enjoyed it, as well. She introduced it to the school’s librarian, who didn’t have time to read it, so her assistant read it instead and also loved it. My sister asked for several copies of the book to give to the English and literature teachers at the school, and I gladly gave them to her. Well, this led to the book being incorporated into the school’s library and curriculum and to the Book Reading/Signing event.

Book Reading-Signing-Event-The Basement-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Everyone at the school was friendly and kind, which made me feel at ease. I wanted my Book Reading/ Signing event to be different. I wanted the kids to be entertained, but I also wanted to instill in them a desire to read. I had adapted one of the chapters from my book into a skit for the kids to perform. My sister took the play to the 5th grade teacher, Miss Betchel. She chose three kids to play my characters: Robbie, Natasha and Cleo. I was very excited.

Kalvin Martinez, Ester Peiro and Janine Llaurado as Robbie, Cleo and Natasha

Kalvin Martinez, Ester Peiro and Janine Llaurado as Robbie, Cleo and Natasha

 

All the kids were taken to a small auditorium where they sat and waited for the Show Book Reading/Signing event to begin. They said a prayer and sang a hymn. I was introduced. I spoke a few words and then my book trailer was shown on a large screen. The kids clapped excitedly when the trailer was over.  

 

After I read a short chapter from the book, the kids performed the play. Janine Llaurado, Ester Peiro and Kalvin Martinez did a great job portraying the characters.  After that I spoke a few words about what inspired me to write The Basement, and gave aspiring writers in the group (which were many) a few tips on writing.  Afterwards, I took pictures of the actors in my play, teachers, librarian, my sister… I was having a great time and had forgotten all about the bad night and morning.

 

The Basement-book-signing-reading-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Janine Llaurado as Natasha

I set up a table with my books in the library, and just when I thought the fun was over, hordes of kids came into the library in waves with their teachers.  They were so excited about the book.  They asked me a million questions, not just about The Basement, but also about my experience as a writer and the writing process!  Many of the kids told me about how much they loved to read. I think nothing warmed my heart more than that. These kids were excited about reading! I wanted to do flips and dance on the library tables (inappropriate, I know).

 The Basement-book signing-reading-preteens

I had an awesome time interacting with the children. Telling them what The Basement is about, what inspired me to write it and what they needed to do to prepare if they wanted to become writers: read, read, read and write, write, write.  Oh, yeah… I sold some books, too.

 

The Basement-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-book-reading-signing-author 

 

We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.

41 Responses to “Book Reading / Signing”

  1. Russell S. Baxter, ProFootballGuru April 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    All good things come to good people. The positives will always beat the negatives. Great story, Vashti.

    Like

  2. Cathy Jones (Lucy Crowe) April 7, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Great blog! And it’s so wonderful to hear that kids still like to read – sometimes I’m afraid it’s a dying art! Glad your day worked out better than it began. 🙂

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

      Hello Cathy! Yes, it’s difficult to believe that in this digital age kids still like books, but they do! It’s awesome! Thank you very much! 😀

      Like

  3. Sunni Morris April 7, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Good for yiou Vashti!

    Like

  4. francisguenette April 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Congratulations, Vashti! Sounds like an awesome event – promoting your book but also promoting reading and getting kids excited about books. Fabulous.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 7, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

      Hi Francis! They were a pleasant surprise. I had a great time. Thank you! 😀

      Like

  5. jorobinson176 April 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    What a wonderful experience Vashti – congratulations – you truly deserve the love and kudos. I hope Rascal is feeling better now – he looks so great in his pic for a seventeen year old pup. xx

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 7, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

      Hi Jo! It was a wonderful experience. The kids were wonderful. Rascal will always be my puppy (he thinks he’s human) 😉 Thank you very much my friend! 😀 xx

      Like

  6. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin April 8, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    I am clapping my hand with glee 🙂 So, so, happy that the book is taking off and so many people are enjoying it. It must have been fun seeing some of it acted out. You go girl!!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Hi Yolanda! Thank you so much! The kids performed my skit exactly the way I imagined it. I loved it! A teacher is going to paint a backdrop of the basement entrance for the next skit. That will give it the final touch. I’m very excited about that. Also, a dancer will be interpreting a chapter through dance at my next reading. So exciting things are coming! 😉

      Like

  7. Vanessa Curtidor April 8, 2014 at 1:06 am #

    Congrats Tia!!! I told mom to tell you I said so and a thumbs up pic I sent from Japan but we all know how mom is and maybe that didn’t get to you. I’m so happy that you had a great time!! Thats a bummer about Rascal that cutie pie… Has he gotten any better?

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

      Hi Vane! I got your adorable picture! I did have a great time. The kids were so much fun. Rascal is doing better. You know how it is. He has his good days and his bad days. I hope all is well with you and Luigi. I’m sure you’re loving Japan! Hopefully I will be able to visit in the near future. I love you! ❤

      Like

      • Vanessa Curtidor April 15, 2014 at 2:26 am #

        Sweet!!! I would love for you to visit!! Tia we are in a straight up village with like farmland all around and stuff and the Sakuras are blooming now and there are mountains! It is so different from Miami lol You will love it =] Miss you!! also I will put my Japanese number on Skype so you can add whatsapp and maybe that will be an easier way to contact you =] Love you more!!

        Like

  8. Heather Smith {Woods of Bell Trees} April 8, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    Poor little pupper! 😦 I hope he feels better! He’s adorable! How exciting, I’m sorry your day began so poorly but I am so happy it turned into something amazing! Congrats on such an amazing response! It’s all so very cool…a better word just isn’t coming to me! hehe

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

      Hi Heather! Rascal is doing much better. Thank you! I did have a great experience with the kids. At first I was afraid, but now I’m looking forward to more readings at schools. Cool is a great word! Thanks again! 😉

      Like

  9. davidprosser April 8, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    I hope your dog is feeling a little better now. It must have been a really bad night/morning for you.
    The day sounds fantastic and I’m so glad to hear that there are still aspiring writers out there. Most of the best writers have been great readers and had their imaginations stimulated by books. I hope many other schools copy the idea and allow you to do readings and signings too.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Hello David! Rascal is doing better. Thank you for asking. I did have a rough night and morning, but the kids turned that around. I agree that in order to be a good writer you have to be an avid reader and I made sure I relayed that message to the kids. I look forward to more of these so I’m hoping more schools get involved. 😀 xx

      Like

  10. Harliqueen April 8, 2014 at 5:07 am #

    Sounds like things are going well for you, I hope Rascal is feeling better!

    Like

  11. JESS44903 April 8, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    Great post…congrats! 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

    Like

  12. Angel April 10, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    I’m so happy that beautiful things are coming your way. You are so talented and it’s wonderful to see your success grow. I hope Rascal is better, I have a 20 year old Pomeranian that barely gets around but he just keeps on going. I love him dearly.
    Angel
    oops. almost forgot to thank you for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 10, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Hello Angel, Thank you so much for your kind words. Rascal is better now, but he has his good days and his bad ones. Awww! I didn’t know you had a pom also. Twenty? Wow! People are surprised when they find out Rascal’s age. I completely understand. Rascal’s my little hairy baby. Ha,ha! It was my pleasure linking up with you. Have a great day! ❤

      Like

  13. Jennifer Kirk April 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Well done Vashti, sounds like the forces decided to work in your favour. You had the perfect relatable audience. You deserve it honey xxx

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      Hi Jennifer! Yes, the day ended very nicely and I loved the kids. I couldn’t have had a better audience. Thank you so much my sweet friend. 😀 xx

      Like

  14. Manhattan Image and Style April 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    Congratulations sweetie!! Let me know when you have a book signing in NY! I’d love to meet you! 😉

    Diana
    http://www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com
    New Blog Post: Healthy Habits You Must Add To Your Routine

    Like

  15. Betty Taylor April 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    How wonderful! That has to be so exciting! I am so glad the book was so well received. Thanks for sharing this with us at the Four Seasons Blog Hop. I will Stumble this and share it a few places!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 15, 2014 at 12:04 am #

      Hi betty! It was very exciting. Thank you very much! I appreciate the support. ❤

      Like

  16. sweetyshinde April 16, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Congratulations! Keep inspiring others. I hope you did dance at the end…

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 16, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      Ha,ha! Thank you very much! I will certainly try. Since I’m not a fan of being taken away in a straitjacket I waited and did the dance at home. 😉

      Like

  17. Gaye @CalmHealthySexy April 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    So wonderful to share with children your love of writing and books! Thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real party. We hope you’ll join us again this week.

    Like

  18. Stacey Gannett April 18, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    Oh Vashti! I am so amazingly happy for you! There is nothing more wonderful than not only sharing your passion with the kids, but also having them to share such an amazing moment with you! I wish you tons more amazing success, my friend!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 18, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      Thank you so much Stacey! It was a wonderful experience. The kids really took me by surprise. With all the technology available to them nowadays I was pleasantly surprised that they were still into books. Some of them reminded me of me growing up. It was very cool! 😀 ❤

      Like

  19. April (@100LBC) April 26, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    I did NOT know you were that close to me! You have to let me know about your next book signing! I’m only a couple of counties away! Thanks for sharing with Countdown in Style!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega April 28, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      Hi April! I would love to meet you. Yes, I will absolutely let you know! 😀 xx

      Like

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  1. Pin It Monday Hop #52 – Pursuit of Functional Home - April 13, 2014

    […] Book Reading/ Signing by Vashti Quiroz Vega […]

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