watching, reading, and writing stories

Word Wrangler 2016

Sorry I didn’t post last week, I just got too busy with life to even think about a blog post. So now that I have some time, I thought I’d write about how my 2nd Word Wrangler Festival went. This year I went to a different school: Immanuel Lutheran School. The school has kids from Kinder through High School I believe. So instead of speaking to the whole school, I was with smaller groups of kids. I had a series of 3 talks. The first was with some delightful 4th graders who had great questions and a lot of energy. We ended up eating lunch with them in the cafeteria after the presentation, and I got to answer more fun questions, such as what’s your favorite color. I discovered that I not only shared the last name of their teacher, but also her favorite color. It’s yellow by the way. So that was fun!

Then after lunch, I met with 2 more groups. The first was 5th and 6th graders. These kids would probably enjoy my book the most and a lot of them were engaged, had questions, and were excited about reading and writing. And finally I got to talk with the 7th and 8th graders. You can really tell a difference with the ages as kids get closer to high school. They tend to be quieter and not as enthusiastic, which is fine. I tried to adjust my talk to engage each group, and I think they all had fun and learned something.

I also had the great pleasure of sharing the time with the kids with another author, or as he liked to refer to himself, a poet. Wayne Edwards has been writing comedic poetry for several years and he reads it to kids often. It was cool to see how someone else engages with kids and gets them to laugh. I enjoyed hearing the humorous poems as much as the kids and I think it was cool for the children to learn about the different types of writing. Because Mr. Edwards read a lot of his poetry to the kids, and the principal asked if I would read some of my work, I ended up adding to my presentation and reading the first page of my first book. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so a lot of the kids were interested after I read it.

Here’s what I read:

The tension in the room was thick. Ben looked steadily at his father. “I have to ask you a question” he said determinedly.
“Alright” his father replied.
“Who am I?” Ben asked with emphasis.
“What? You know who you are. You’re Ben, my son,” Thomas said with a small chuckle.
“No I’m not,” Ben insisted. “I don’t look like anyone else in this family. If I’m your son, then why am I the only kid with blond hair?”
“Is that what this is about? Ben just because you look different doesn’t mean you’re not my son. Things like this happen sometimes; it’s one of life’s mysteries.”
Ben wasn’t convinced. “Well how come me and Joshua are the same age but have different birthdays? That isn’t a mystery of life, it’s impossible!” Ben crossed his arms and waited for an explanation.

I’m so glad there were people giving me suggestions and advice as I’ve visited more schools and book fairs. So, my day at the school was fun, but a little different than I expected. Last year I had tried to get the kids to preorder the book, so I could give it to them at the school. This made for some cool conversations as some of the kids had started reading the book when they came to visit the Public Library the next day and could tell me what they liked so far. But this year a missing email meant that the kids didn’t know they could preorder the book. So instead I printed the flyer at the school when I got there and my mom handed it out to the kids after my talk. I wasn’t sure if any of the kids would actually buy the book, but I thought it was better than nothing and I told them they could still get the discounted price if they brought the sheet to the library the next day.

K-5th was scheduled to come to the Library, so the next day I looked forward to seeing some of the kids again. The first several hours of the book fair were a little discouraging. Most of the kids visiting walked through but didn’t buy anything, and some sounded interested but didn’t have money or wanted a different book that someone else had written. I took an early lunch and while I was eating, my friend Mrs. Morris came and asked me to sign 2 books for a kid and told me another kid had also bought both books. I was so excited!

And when I got back to my table, one girl who had bought the first book last year came to my table and got the sequel! I’m so glad at least one kid wanted to read the next one. Then as kids from Immanuel started coming through I was overwhelmed with how many wanted to buy the books. It was so encouraging and I decided it might have been a better idea to have the flyer than the preorder, because then kids had met me, were excited, and immediately had a chance to buy the book. I got to see several 4th, 5th and even a few 6th graders who had to come with parents. Then at the very end of the day while I was packing up, one last lady stopped by to get the books for her granddaughter who was in 8th grade. I sold even more books than last year, probably because several kids wanted both books. It was such a great experience and I’m so thankful to the people who organize this book festival every year and for Mr. Shaefer for having me come to his school.

Here’s what he had to say about the experience:

“Lydia Hill can help inspire young authors to follow their dreams. She shares her story of assembling thoughts for adventures in an understanding, easy to follow presentation. Her pleasant demeanor and Christian conscience makes her a delight to invite for any age student to be filled with incentive to write.” – Dan Schaefer, principal, Immanuel Lutheran School, Giddings, TX

And here’s the awesome Thank you Card I got from the students:

I’m hoping to go to even more book fairs and visit more schools in the future.

Leave a comment »

Finding Home: The Lost Brother


My new novel Finding Home: The Lost Brother is available on Amazon! If you’ve been interested in my writing at all, I hope you’ll check it out.

Click Here to Look at the Book



And if you’ve never read the original novel check it out too!

Click Here to Check Out the Original Novel

Also, I’ve been invited to return to Giddings, TX for the Word Wrangler Festival in September. I’m so excited and I just wanted to share that today.

I hope you’re having a great day too!

Leave a comment »

Famous in a Small Town

Word Wrangler 2015 (2)

Like I promised, I wanted to write about my experience at the Giddings Word Wrangler Festival. It was my first time going and actually my first book fair too. It was quite the adventure and I thought I’d share some of the highlights from the trip.

On Thursday I headed out early to get to the Intermediate School with plenty of time to spare. I’ve had a few experiences with speaking to elementary age students, so I was excited to talk to the 4th and 5th graders about my book and the story of how I became an author. I had a slideshow all set up and a few little giveaways for the kids. Several ladies helped me with setting up the powerpoint and getting the preordered books all ready for pick up. We even got to put gold stickers on the front covers that said signed by the author. Then the first group of kids filed in, and the excited chatter began. One kid asked if I was going to show them How to Train Your Dragon, since I had the music playing. I said no, but it made me smile and I did tell him it was one of my favorite movies.


The rest of the talk was a blur, with kids making comments, answering my questions, and asking their own questions. The funniest question I got was “What would you do if you saw a bug?” I said “I’d probably just leave it alone.” But the whole experience made me feel like a famous person. All these kids wanted to shake my hand, give me a hug or ask me a question. Luckily my mom was there keeping track of all the books and cash for me. Every once in awhile she’d hand me another book and tell me the name I was signing it to. Then it was back to more questions.

I remember this one girl who didn’t get a prize asked to see the extra giant pen I had with me. I let her hold it and told her it was broken. She asked to keep it anyway and I decided, why not, it’s broken. So she rushed back to class all excited. Then a couple minutes later she came back with the most distraught look on her face and said sadly, “I fixed the pen.” I assumed her teacher told her to return it. So I smiled and said, “You fixed it, you keep it.” And she left happy once more.

The couple hours at the school concluded and I packed up and eventually made it my next book fair destination: The Public Library. We had a Gala scheduled for Thursday evening, so I got there a bit early and began setting up my table, with a nice cover, some business cards, a few books, and the painting I had made for the cover art. It wasn’t the most extravagant book table but it was something. Then I joined all the other authors and sponsors of the book fair for a delicious dinner. I even got a little gift bag with all kinds of goodies! It was great to be treated so well.


The next morning, the real Book Fair began, I barely had time to look around at the other tables before it was time to start. But I managed to pick out a few books I wanted to buy. The whole morning was taken up with busload after busload of students pulling up and hurrying through the library. Most of them had a sheet of paper to try to get autographs on. It felt like I was a celebrity the way these kids scrambled for autographs. I tried to make them a bit special by writing “Happy Reading,” before signing my name. But unfortunately my brain autocorrected to “Happy Birthday” a few times. A few kids got confused and asked why, but one little boy said, “How did you know it was my birthday?” So I guess it wasn’t a bad thing.


Several of the kids, whose school I had visited the day before told me they had started reading the book. One girl said she was on chapter 8 already, which was very surprising. And I also had some kids who hadn’t gotten their book, come over and buy one. It was a wonderful experience and I’d love to be able to do it again.

And lastly, the Book Fair gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of other local Texas Authors. In fact I shared a table with one close to my age. Jamie S. Foley has already published 2 books, the first of which I’m reading now. And we got to give each other so much encouragement and tips from our own experiences. It was priceless! Plus I have a new friend now.


And before I finish, I wanted to make sure that if anyone is reading this post, who picked up my business card and was hoping to read some of my book for free, you know how to do it. Just search in the categories for “sneak peek” and you’ll find all the sections I’ve posted form my two books. Happy Reading!


My First Book Festival!



This week I am heading out to Giddings, TX for my first ever book festival! I’m so excited to be speaking at their Intermediate School and then joining in the festivities at the Public Library. Although I have spoken at a few schools in the past about being an author and my published novel Finding Home: The Orphan’s Journey, I’ve never been to a book fair before. It’s exciting and a bit nerve wracking to try to remember all the things I want to bring with me… books, business cards, receipt slips, tablecloth, decorations, and more.

But in honor of this new step as an Author, I thought it was high time that my blog got a few updates. So last night my brother, who is great with website design, helped me clean up my page. If you’ve been following me for long, you might have noticed that the set up is a bit different and several of the unnecessary tabs are now gone. I’ve also added a link to my book on the side of my page, so all you need to do is press the picture of the book, and it’ll take you straight to Amazon to purchase it. I had toyed with the idea of changing the theme of my blog as well, but I just love this blue background so much. I can’t change it, at least not yet.

I’m not sure how everything will come together at the book fair, but I’m hoping to have a lot of fun, meet other authors from Texas, and maybe come home with a few new books of my own to read.

I’ll try to write a post about how the book fair goes next week.

Leave a comment »