Friday, November 30, 2007

Change the World Tour

Chris from Shadow Mountain called me yesterday to discuss the planned tour of schools, not only for the release but in the coming months and years. They really wanted to have a theme and a title and make it sort of event-ish. He was composing a letter to send with ARCs to elementary schools.

Well, there are several things I try to do when I speak at a school. First and foremost, have fun. If you fail on number one, you will accomplish nothing. I also like to create a story with the kids, using their ideas. Then I really want to stress to them how, as cheesy as it sounds, they can accomplish anything they want to in life. Be it an astronaut, an NFL player, a dancer, a doctor, whatever.

They can do it. People will tell them they can't. People told me I couldn't become an author. When all the crusty old badgers told me that only 1 out of 1000 even gets published, much less makes a living from it, I just said, "well dang, I feel sorry for those other 999 saps."

They can do it. And if they want to, they can change the world forever. Just like Lincoln and Edison and Einstein and a bunch of other people did. And to do it, they need to start now by being strong readers and writers.

If I can make them have fun for 99 percent of the time, and then slam them with that message in the last 1 percent, all is well.

So that's why we're calling it the Change the World Tour. Any thoughts? Suggestions? I plan on doing this many, many times, so I'd love your feedback.

12 comments:

Stephanie Humphreys said...

This sounds like a great presentation. Kids need to hear this message over and over again. Now I just have to figure out how to get your tour to spill over into Canada.

Tony said...

You go, James!
You said be a strong reader.
Do you have any "must read" book seggestions for new writers?

SarahK said...

Awesome..does this Change tour have you landing in Atlanta????

Rachelle said...

That sounds fantastic, gives me goose bumps to think about! I'm sure you're planning on doing this but make sure that the kids have something tangible to take away from the presentation, a bookmark, sticker, pencil, something to remind them that they can change the world. I really love your riddle idea. It would be cool if you highlighted some of those success stories you were talking about in sports, music, books etc in a type of guessing game too. You could ask- how many times was so and so rejected? How long did it take Edison to invent the light bulb? Stuff that would all tie in to the possibilities of dreams come true. There's my 2 cents+ a little more :)

Luisa Perkins said...

It sounds like a great format--very empowering and energizing.

Are you planning on Changing the East Coast? If so, P and I have a guest room. We'd love to have you come change the world at Haldane Elementary.

Tamra Norton said...

I love this idea, James. Tell the kids that you believed in yourself and that's where it all starts!

VERY exciting!

Kimberly said...

Are you going to use that Eric Clapton song? Come on, someone had to ask!

I have a loooooong memory, and I remember motivational speakers coming to my elementary school. The ones I remember clearly? The ones that talked to us like we weren't idiots, who said or did funny things (physical comedy will get their attention every time), and who threw candy into the crowd. Not exactly helpful, I know, but that's all I've got.

Good luck!

Heather B. Moore said...

Very cool. I like it. You can use a lot of play on words with that kind of a title.

James Dashner said...

Thanks for the helpful feedback and the encouraging words. The tour is not completely scheduled yet, but I know it includes Atlanta and Phoenix so far. I'd love to go to Canada and New York, but I'm not the boss.

I know I'll end up in New York one way or the other sometime next year. Don't know about Canada.

Luisa, be careful what you offer! I may come live with you and your family for a month while I brown nose the big dude publishers. :-) Okay, not really.

Annette Lyon said...

No brilliant ideas here, but I'm sure the tour will be a smashing success.

slackjaw said...

My suggestion-- Don't get the kids' hopes up, fool! Most of them will never achieve these high aspirations that you encourage. Then they'll live the rest of their lives in a deep depression because they're nothing but failures.

Or maybe that's just me...

Just kidding-- Sounds good, bro. Keep up the good work!

James Dashner said...

Slackjaw, you may be right. Maybe I'll change the name to the Pathetic Losers Tour. Could I use you as an example?

I know, I'm hilarious.