Sunday, November 5, 2023

Virtual Author Visits from Our Scottish Barn


My virtual author visits are in full swing for the 2023-24 school year. It has been fantastic to chat with classes in New York, Ohio, and New Jersey so far. And Mariemont Schools were the FIRST to virtually visit my new hayloft studio in Scotland last week.

If you look closely at the photo, you can probably spot the little window above the glass archway--that's my hayloft writer's studio. Our new/old house in Scotland is a former barn from the late 1700s. It has been a hayloft, a henhouse, a stable for horses...and now, an author's house. As you can probably tell, the walls are made of stone. (Yes, I'll confess that I like to imagine the space as a castle...) This part of Scotland once had large granite quarries, and many of the buildings are made of granite. In fact, granite from here was shipped all over the world.

Although I'm based in Scotland, never fear...I'm still scheduling virtual visits with US-based schools. Remember that if your school is doing an all-school read of one of my books, you can get a free virtual visit after your school has completed the book. 

I also have a brand-new Author Mentorship program for individual classrooms where I'll present a virtual writing workshop, a Q&A session, and then, every student can get personal, written feedback on a piece of writing from me. If your students are reading The Seventh Most Important Thing, I also have a new workshop called "Hampton's Throne Speaks" where we create a character from the artwork itself. A great lesson in personification and brainstorming! 

You can find out more details about both of these programs on the school visits page of my website: Shelley Pearsall School Visits

Thank you for reading my books, whether you are near...or far away. Feel free to reach out through my website if you have any questions. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023


There is no doubt that the last three years have changed all of us. Made us face our own mortality. Made us realize what really matters...and what doesn't. Made us discover new sides of who we are -- while, at the same time, pushing us to the limits of what we thought we could endure. Speaking for myself, the last three years have also made me realize it was time for a change. A big change.

I'm not unfamiliar with changing my life. I did it quite often in my twenties and thirties. I moved a half-dozen times. Tried out multiple jobs. Went back to school to become a teacher. Quit teaching and sold everything I owned in order to have an uninterrupted year to write a book (which became Trouble Don't Last)...

But in recent years, it became easier not to change. To stay put. To keep doing what was working. To drive the same roads. To look at the same familiar scenery. 

However, creativity doesn't thrive in the familiar or the routine. Ideas don't sprout from the roadsides you've driven on a thousand times before. It needs adventure, inspiration, interaction, challenge, serendipity, magic...

And so, earlier this year, my husband Mike and I decided to move to a new place. Well, not just a new place...but a new COUNTRY. A place where we would have to learn everything all over again, except the language. A place where we'd be forced to make new friends and try new things. 

In May, we moved to a renovated stone barn, with eaves full of swallows and hillsides dotted with sheep, in southwest Scotland. 

Why Scotland? Although it is a place that has inspired countless artists and writers over the centuries...and given birth to wizards named Harry Potter and fictional islands of reasons for landing here were more personal... 

I chose to move to Scotland because this was the place where I found the magic and the words again, the ones I feared the pandemic had erased forever. There was magic in the tiny striped snail living in my crooked doorway. The small and delicate deer that somehow sailed over four foot stone walls into the garden. The mysterious cat who would appear and disappear in an eye-blink. The waterfalls that burbled out of nowhere in the mossy-green woods.  For all those reasons and more.

I hope you'll enjoy this next chapter with me. Stay tuned. (And yes -- I will be making return visits to Ohio, my home state.)