While I long for the energy of students filling up auditoriums, there has been so much about virtual author visits that have proven advantageous to the experience.
1) Because I use Zoom Webinar, students can ask questions anonymously without fear of speaking in front of their peers. I have been getting many profound queries this way from students who have walked a similar path with an addicted parent.
2) Students are coming to my space, so I can show them things that I would never carry with me when I travel—original art, my childhood copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle, a dog or two...
3) When I give drawing demonstrations, instead of seeing a pad of paper on an easel from across a crowded auditorium, each student is there standing over my shoulder watching me draw via the overhead shot. In fact, the view is even closer than that—their noses would be just inches from my pencil.
4) These are super easy to schedule! I have been visiting every K-12 school in one district, and they have been spread out over a few weeks at times that are convenient to the schools. I’d never be able to travel back and forth like that!
Note that pencil case. It used to hold all of my chargers and dongles when I went into schools. Now I use it to organize all of the adapters that I need to power my virtual setup.
“Today is going to be the best day ever” can still ring true.
And just with my in-person visits, Authors Unbound Agency has been a saving grace and incredible partner in scheduling all of these events. We actually send the lectures out to schools ahead of time, so the entire Zoom session is filled with rapid-fire questions and connections with students. It has been remarkable.