Okay, do you think you’d like me to come out and visit your school?  I'm a member of the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators and do a lot of speaking at schools, book events and libraries.This page will answer a lot of questions that your school might have.

First, let's see what they say:

"Norm's high energy presentation brought laughter and smiles to all of our students and staff while teaching voluble literacy lessons at the same time."  
     Matthew Beasland, Coordinator,Adult Volunteer Literary, South Suburban College.

“Norm has a gift for engaging the audience, no matter what age. 
His interactive approach is popular and effective.”    
  Amy Alessio, Teen Coordinator, Schaumburg Twp. Dist. Library, Il.

“Norm is an amazing author who inspired my students to dig deeper into their own writing.”                      Kim Runions, teacher, Martino Junior High School, New Lenox, Il.

                            "I don't know who loved his presentation more ,us leaders or the girls! "                                Julie McDade, Girl Scout Troop 418.

"Norm is one of the most dynamic, popular and entertaining speakers on the circuit.” 
         Lillian Novak  -   Director of Education, National Association of Credit Management (Chicago/Midwest)

"Norm packed the room with creative young minds anxious to uncover the secrets
of writing humor; his enthusiasm is contagious."  
    Tracey Contino, English teacher, Oswego High School - Southwest Prairie Conference Literary Festival, Il.  

"He not only engaged the teens and taught them about the world of writing,
but adults were entertained and delighted too!" 
               Michelle D. Carnes, Reference Librarian and Young Adult Coordinator, Midlothian Public Library

Norm Cowie shared his writing tactics and humor with our students.  He validated the use of planning before writing, use of figurative language, and the importance of point of view decisions; this reminds students of what it takes to be a writer." - Carolyn Turcotte, Barrington Middle School, Prairie Campus.

“For his age, Norm looks pretty good in a Speedo.”

I’m sure you have some questions, so let’s see if I can anticipate some of them: 

First, the most important question.  What does it cost? 
Heh, just kidding.  Obviously the most important question is, what do your programs offer students?

With apologies to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fang Face is a book a kid will WANT to read.
Vampires are hot with the kids now, and vampire humor not only hot, but unique.

Fang Face reads extremely easily and one of the things I like to do is discuss with students how to craft writing that draws the reader in and keeps them entertained, never bored.

In addition, there are three major issues that stifle students’ writing,
1) writing through difficult parts in a story,
2) coming up with ideas,
3) taking on a long writing project.
4)  dragging themselves away from MTV (oops, that's 4)

My presentations give helpful suggestions that help students get through the problem areas.  My goal is to energize your students and get them to both read and write.

We'll discuss other stuff, like protagonist vs. antagonist, foreshadowing, voice, sequel, movie rights, pizza, etc.

Fang Face is being considered as a curriculum book at three school districts (fingers crossed). For this porpoise, er, purpose,  I can also furnish sample curriculum questions to assist teachers in coming up with program ideas.

How many sessions will you do in a day?

I'm flexible, I can do four shorter, or two longer sessions  … An hour is my favorite amount of time.  I’m use up a lot of energy so there has to be some recharge time so some time between sessions is ideal. 

Do you read from your books?

I like to  incorporate at least some reading from my books and I’ve been known to choose a student ‘volunteer’ to help me out.  The amount will depend on what presentation you would like me to do.

How many students are you comfortable speaking with at once?

Depends if they're armed ... heh.  Anyway, bring e'm on, large groups, small groups, cramped little rooms, cavernous auditoriums … no problem.  If there are good acoustics – or a mic - and a place where I can display a Power Point or a flip chart, I’m cool.

Do you do writer's workshops?

I could, if you wanted.  Like I said, I will tailor the session for your needs.  If you wanted to do a workshop rather than a presentation, this would be fine for smaller groups.  Let me know what you’d like and we can talk. 

How long are your sessions? 

I like to do sessions of anywhere between 40 -75 minutes.  Again, it all depends on what you would like me to cover.  If there are multiple sessions, please allow ten to fifteen minutes or so between sessions.  This gives me a chance to recharge (I’m a quick recharger) and for the classes to transition. .

What equipment will you need?

Sometimes none.  I prefer a Power Point, but if you want, I can simply talk with your students about writing, publishing, the price of aardvarks.  More informal.

If we decide on a Powerpoint demonstration, I would prefer you provide the projector and a compatible laptop (please make sure it works before hand :-) and set up the room beforehand.

Again, if we do a Powerpoint, I'll need a  large screen or white wall   ...   or if you want a really interesting presentation, a purple wall with polka dots is always fun.

A decent sized table, as opposed in to indecent sized table. 

A microphone if the acoustics aren’t optimal.  I’m pretty loud and wander around sometimes so it’s not necessary in a classroom.  

A bottle of water or juice or something.

How do we make your books available to students for purchase?

Sure thing!  (happy dance)   Ahem.  Sorry. 

Anyway, this is one of the best parts, because you can purchase the books at discount and sell them to the students at retail or something close, which you can use to help finance my visit. 
I've had two different publishers, but my contracts with my publisher for both Fang Face and WereWoof  ran its course  and the rights reverted back to me. The good news is this enables me to sell the books without the publisher markup.

How do you suggest we get the students excited about your visit to our school?

It’s always fun to see banners, posters or displays welcoming me.  You can also order the books (grin) ahead of time, introduce the students to my website and set up readings prior to my visit so they are familiar with me before I arrive.

Will you autograph items other than books?

I’ll sign every book, of course, but I’ll be happy to scribble my name on posters, displays, and definitely any shirts or hats or anything purchased from the store on my website.

As far as signing scraps of paper and miscellaneous shirts, hats and stuff, if there’s not a line of people to sign the books, sure, I’ll sign whatever time permits.   I would like your help in coordinating signing, as
I tend to frighten easily when rushed by a bunch of teens.

Besides book sales, how else can a school finance an author visit?

There are lots of ways.  Your students can raise the funds through a fund raising program.  Make it fun… wash cars, have a bake sale or something.  There are also grants that support such programs, tax credit or PTO funds. I try to keep my costs down

Or consider 'sharing' me with another school in the area. 

Okay, that brings us to the bottom line ... what is your cost?

Here are my current rates:

1 session    (1-2 hours)                           $200.
2 sessions  (1/2 day)                              $300.
All day event    (four sessions)               $500.

Travel expenses are added for all visits outside the Chicago area (which includes the collar counties)
unless agreed upon in advance by the author .. .um.. . me.   Just contact me for a quotation.

These are all negotiable, especially if you purchase a sizable number of books for the event (see valuable coupon above!).

How much notice is needed to schedule you?

If I can fit it in, I can ramp up for a visit with very little notice.  it depends on whether you're looking at a workshop which requires a bit more advance preparation.The best thing to do is check out my events page to make sure dates don’t conflict with something already on my schedule.  

Possible student discussion ideas:

Discuss the moral and legal implications of a public school having to provide education for a minor who is a potential risk to other students.

Were the bullying issues resolved in the best manner?  If not, suggest better conflict resolutions.

Which primary protagonist’s POV (point of view) drives the story? 

Do the multiple POV’s hurt or help the story?

What limitations would a single POV have caused and how could they have been overcome?

Who is the primary antagonist?

What are his/her objectives?

How would writing the story in first person have impacted the book?

Discuss the use of humor in a genre (vampire) which  generally is  associated  with horror? 

What other topics are usually thought to be off limits to humor?

What other options might the parents have explored when they learned that their daughter was becoming vampire?

How did the author use foreshadowing to build suspense?

Describe the ‘voice’ used in telling the story.

How did the author treat ‘typical’ vampire lore?  Where did he vary and where did he conform?

Discuss whether vampires could be integrated into our culture morally and practically (how their nutritional needs could be acceptably met without fear or revulsion)

What would you expect or hope to see out of a sequel?

What's the best way to contact you?

Email is the best way to reach me. 
My daytime email is norm.cowie@paramont.com and home email n.cowie@comcast.net  . 
The Spam filters are a lot less ferocious on my home email address, so it’s probably your better bet.
My cell number is 708-977-5013.


Fang Face  & WereWoof

Norm Cowie