Are you a teacher or librarian?
Do you have students who dislike books? Kids who just don’t want to read?
Are you looking for a way to engage, inspire, and help them enjoy books again?
You should get an in-school reading by Darren Pillsbury, author of PETER AND THE VAMPIRES!
Darren Pillsbury enthralled our students as he read excerpts from his books “Peter and the Vampires,” “Peter and the Werewolves,” and “Peter and the Frankenstein.” We were very fortunate to have Darren visit our school on Oct. 26. Students were told they were in for a treat but little did I know how much excitement he would produce. All students – even those hard to reach and reluctant readers – were captivated by Darren as he read excerpts from his books. They especially liked the way he made the characters come to life as he personalized each with a different voice.
When I first read about Darren, I immediately thought, “What a great way to get students involved not only with reading but also with writing.” Having a male author show excitement and enthusiasm for reading and writing would be a great way to inspire many of our students. I had hoped to target our boys who never pick up a book and wouldn’t ever think of writing. Thanks to Darren I have had many students, even boys, come tell me about a story they are writing or ask me to read something they have written. There has been a countless number of students asking for the books and and lining up to check them out on line. The halls are filled with conversations about Darren’s books.
If you are looking for an author who can turn your students on to READING – then Darren Pillsbury is definitely for you. He is very easy to work with. He has a great rapport with the students – taking the time to talk with them individually after his presentations and even signing autographs for them. Darren will never know what a wonderful impression he has made on our school. He definitely gave many of kids a memory they will cherish forever.
South Central Middle School
Darren Pillsbury visited our school in September 2011. He is a remarkable speaker, and the students hung on every single word he said. They particularly liked the different voices he used for his characters. Hearing him read excerpts from his books is like watching an amazing theatrical performance. The stories are a great mix of spooky and funny. I would definitely recommend him and his books for schools and other events. He is very affordable and great with the students.
Shelby Day, Ed. S.
Gainesville Middle School
(See my Testimonials page for more!)
Multiple PETER stories have been published over the last six months on both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com:
They tell the ongoing story of a 10-year-old boy who moves into his grandfather’s creepy mansion in a small town, and bad, baaaaad things start to happen.
For instance, in the first four books, Peter and his new friend Dill have to contend with 13 dead men in the garden patch…avoid a classmate who has come back from the dead with a crush on Peter…deal with a changeling who has taken the place of Peter’s two-year-old sister…and fight a prehistoric swamp monster in the town lake. Other books in the series contain tales about werewolves, mad scientists, yetis, evil gingerbread men, and Frankenstein’s monsters.
The books are written to be scary and entertaining, but they also have a light sense of humor to them. They are perfect for ages 9 to 15, but like the HARRY POTTER series, they appeal to a much larger audience. I started the books by blogging them a page a day in 2007, and the majority of my fans are high schoolers, college students, and 20- and 30-somethings (some with children of their own)!
Readings In Schools
Since the start of the 2011-2012 school year, I am making an effort to introduce my works to new audiences by doing readings at schools in Georgia.
Darren Pillsbury is an energetic speaker that kept our students engaged in his literature the entire time he was speaking. His voices entertained students and teachers alike! His readings made them laugh at Dill and Peter’s antics, gasp in surprise at their adventures, and jump as Darren lunged at them acting out what he was reading. We can’t wait to have him back!
Gainesville Middle School
(See my Testimonials page for more!)
I combine a dramatic reading of selected excerpts from the books (you can read them all here, and you can listen to one of my recordings to see the voices I use) with artwork that illustrates some of the monsters and characters in the stories (artwork viewable here).
I also talk about topics like how I get my ideas, how I started writing as a teenager, and how students can become self-published authors themselves. I also incorporate Q&A into my presentations, so if teachers or students want to know anything in particular, they are more than welcome to ask!
Presentations are completely customizable, so if you think particular excerpts are too scary, or certain pieces of artwork are too intense, I can just leave them out and not include them. On this website, you can preview everything I read aloud or show to students in order to make sure it meets with your school’s standards.
I wrote the stories for all ages, kind of like the HARRY POTTER series, but the best target audience is probably 4th grade through 9th grade. At a recent reading at Gainesville Middle School, the 8th graders I read to responded as favorably as the 6th graders.
I can talk to regular students, students who are at risk for not reading at grade level, art classes, creative writing classes, English classes, and more.
Readings are typically for three or four different class periods totaling up to three hours. The size of the audience is up to you. Whether it’s 20 students or 400, I’ll read in front of any number of students!
If you want to schedule a longer visit than three class periods, I can definitely try, though my voice tends to start giving out after three hours. Some of the characters’ voices and sound effects I make can be demanding! Click here to hear some samples of what my readings sound like.
I Show My Artwork, Too!
If your school can provide a digital projector that can be hooked up to my laptop, great. If not, don’t worry, I have a small portable one of my own. If you can dim the lights, I will show your students some great pictures and then read the pages that go along with them.
For art classes specifically, I can talk about (and show) how I used Photoshop to create some of my images.
I have around a dozen possible excerpts I typically read, though I usually finish no more than four or five in a one-hour period. Other topics and Q&A take up the rest of the time.
You Also Get The Books For Free!
As part of my visit, I provide a free copy of the books to the library.
You Can Also Raise Money For Your School Through My Readings And Books!
I offer my books for sale in a partnership with school libraries. The books cost $8 each (they are $8 online, plus shipping) – but out of every $8, $1 goes back to the school. See my page on Cost to see my speaking fees (which are negotiable), and to learn how your library can fundraise through my appearances!
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at
If you have students who dislike reading, or who are bored by the typical books available, give me a call! My books are funny, spooky, action-packed, and the perfect antidote for kids who claim that reading is boring!