Today, I was invited to give a motivational talk to a grade 8 class. I planned a 3-hour session sharing life lessons and the story behind ‘Hold on please, Emily.‘ This session aimed to encourage students to work hard and believe in their dreams. Graduating from grade 8 is a milestone moment because in September they’ll be going to a new school and starting to make plans for their future career.
This was my very first ‘Author Talk‘ event. The opportunity came from an invitation from Toronto District School Board (TDSB) teacher and long time friend, Omar Murji. He actually saw my post on Facebook about my book and decided to ask me about it. Since it was the final month of school, Omar thought it would be fun for the students to learn from an author. He was already arranging a fun-filled final two-weeks of school to help them prepare for high school next year. Omar decided to assign me English and Music class. I was nervous and excited all at the same time. Thankfully, Omar, being the wonderful friend that he is, helped me run through my presentation the night before, so I was much more confident going in today for my session.
Presenting virtually was an interesting experience because most of the students had their cameras off, so I felt like I was talking to a blank screen. It was really awkward. However, since I designed a presentation that engaged the students throughout the session, it was nice to get two-way interaction when they submitted answers to my questions and participated in class discussion.
Writing a YA book and then talking about it to youth was an experience of a lifetime for an indie author. It was surreal to see that the grade 8s were excited to learn about my book and how writing one could change their lives. Who knows, maybe some of them would become self-published authors in the future because this talk inspired them to give this career path a try.
It’s been about 45-days since I launched my book. Since my launch, I’ve started a monthly digital magazine, was interviewed on a podcast, and now giving motivational talks at schools. I’m not sure if I’m a role model to youth yet, but I’m excited about what’s going to happen next. One thing’s for sure, I am so thankful that Omar gave me this opportunity and hope this is just the beginning of many more ‘Author Talks‘ in the future.