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Author Access with Romina Russell

  Romina Russell  9781595147400
  1. How will you format your Skype visits with classrooms and libraries?
I’m so thrilled to be part of the Skype in the Classroom program and can’t wait for my first visit with students. My plan will be to briefly introduce myself and my journey to publication, before jumping into the theme of my visit and closing with as much time as possible for questions. As I receive requests, I’d ideally like to connect with the librarian/teacher to tailor the theme of my visit to meet their students’ needs. For example, I can offer to read an excerpt from ZODIAC and discuss its dozen planetary systems and their diverse cultures, providing insight into how I developed each world while drawing parallels to our own; or I can discuss the writing process, offering details from my own experiences, tips for how to get a story started, and advice for dealing with rejection; and so on. For me, the most important part is the Q&A at the end, when I can address what students specifically want to know.
  1. What is your favorite part of visiting a school or library?
Without a doubt, my favorite part of visiting classes or libraries is hearing from the students, whether they’re asking questions, sharing their experiences, or expressing their opinions—just as my favorite part of being an author is hearing from readers. I believe art is meant to connect us, and even though books are produced in isolation, they should be consumed in good company.
  1. What words of advice do you have for aspiring young writers?
I completed my first novel in college and had to wait ten years to finally get published—so my first piece of advice is to be patient. My second is to write—you never know what’s going to sell, so the more ideas you can shop around, the better your odds of hooking someone’s interest. Third, and above all, start or join a critique group with other aspiring authors who are talented, supportive, and will give you honest yet constructive feedback. I can’t emphasize enough how much my critique group has done for me as a writer and as a person the past five years—it’s been an education.
  1. Is there anything teachers and librarians should know before you visit?
I’m bilingual, so I’m happy to conduct my visits in Spanish. I can also discuss my immigration story and dual identity, and how it’s shaped my ideas and my art. I was painfully shy as a kid and lived in terror of a teacher calling on me (even though I got good grades), so students are welcome to email me if they’d rather not speak in front of their classmates, and I promise they will receive a timely response. Thank you for this opportunity, and I hope to be speaking with you soon!  

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