First off, I'm so pumped that you've chosen to do a project on my work! That is so amazing and wonderful and honestly time is a flat circle here. And, as someone who pursued a career in research (art history! Whaaaat), the most important part of any research or a school project or a book report is.. dramatic pause… the research work. So, in the spirit of fairness and also because I love research and want everyone to love it like I do, below are links to resources where you can find tons of answers.
Some of these links are interviews, personal essays, and some of these are pieces on my book. Start with my bio. Then head over to my in the news page and the FAQ. The book pages each have their own descriptions and a list of inspirations for the work. I've also got a section dedicated to book club questions!
Also, the internet is your friend— and as all the grown ups like to say— forever, babes. In this case, that means that all this information on my books, my work, and me is also forever. Click past the first page when you search my work, me, or honestly, any author you're researching. You probably don't need to go past the fourth or fifth page. I also use fairly long captions on my Instagram posts, particularly my #tbts.
Good luck! I believe in you. And if you're stuck, switch up the keywords you're using and also try to pretend like you're in a spy sequence during a heist film. That always works for me.
Aside from being a writer, I'm basically a ham. The idea of author visits, talks, and presentations make me super excited and really lean into my early training as an academic. I use multimedia, sourced materials, and handouts in my presentations.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a professor. I have a BA from the University of Southern California in Art History and an MA from the University of Chicago. I've taught adult MFA workshops at Antioch University and teen writing seminars at the Santa Monica Public Library. Feel free to scroll below for some presentation guidelines.
All of my presentations can be tailored for middle school, high school, and adult groups.
I am more than happy (and have experience with) auditorium-sized presentations. I also love smaller groups and individual classes. Smaller groups, I’ve found, are particularly fantastic for personal interaction, in-depth Q&A, and writing workshops.
Using my own life experiences, writing anecdotes, and time working as an author in the publishing world, I can cover a range of topics for language arts, writing classes, and English studies. I've also got a Masters degree in Art History that I make useful in these talks as well. These topics can all be made specific to the concepts which your group is particularly interested.
I'm more than happy to talk about:
My writing career
The nitty gritty of writing a book (from idea to that last word)
How to build plot (and how to thread through multiple plot lines)
How to craft characters
How to use dialog to your advantage
How to draw on both film and novels in your work
What it is to be a working writer
How to do research
How to edit and revise (n.b. this works best in workshop format)
I'm also happy to do workshops where I read from existing work, share work-in-progress with students, and create an ongoing conversation about editing and revision.
If teachers are willing to chat with me beforehand, I would love to tailor my presentation to your class specifically. And if I have access, I'm more than happy to read student work ahead of time for writing workshops.
I'd love to come visit. Let's make this happen!
IN PERSON Los Angeles/Southern California area: If your school or organization is in the LA/Southern California area, I’m happy to visit anytime. Depending upon the size and scope of the presentations you are expecting, I can do up to three presentations a day.
Cost includes: honorarium and travel outside of the Greater LA Area. (Negotiable)
IN PERSON USA/World: If you or your group are located anywhere else in the country or the world, we can work together to arrange a date that works best for everyone. Depending upon the size and scope of the presentations you are expecting, I can do up to three presentations a day.
Cost includes: honorarium, travel, hotel accommodations and expenses. (Negotiable)
VIA Skype: If your school or library is interested in a Skype visit, that's so exciting! It's super simple to set up a date and time that works for everyone.
Cost includes: honorarium. (Negotiable)
For more information or to set up a visit, please use my contact page or tonycontebookings [at] gmail [dot] com 💜