How can you not love an author visit? You get to hear all the behind the scenes tidbits about how books are created, all while indulging in the intoxicating atmosphere that a brush with minor celebrity provides. Last week, my school was visited by PaleoJoe, author of the Dinosaur Detective Club series from the good Michiganders at Mackinac Island Press.

While I am fairly inexperienced at the whole author visit thing, I have to say that I was impressed by Mr. Joe’s ability to bring the information while still connecting with children. An while I have not yet read PaleoJoe’s books (*Update* Read the review here), I have to say that I’m interested after having met the man.

First of all, he shows up in full “my job is to search for dinosaur bones” attire: very khaki, very pocketed, very sun shielding. You’ve gotta love that. If a wise man once said (forgive me for butchering this) “90% of success is just showing up”, then I would like to amend that quote with “… and 95% of a successful author visit is showing up in costume”. I was unsure of what to call our visitor, but was relieved when he came right up and introduced himself with “hi, I’m PaleoJoe”. When his audience arrived, he jumped right into things, explaining his day job and his foray into authorship. Then he pulled out the dino-poop.

Yep, the first item he pulls out of his bag of ancient archaeological artifacts was some petrified dinosaur droppings. If it’s possible to hear the sound of 100 children simultaneously wishing to grow up to become paleontologists, I think I heard it.

Paleo J continued on with some other interesting fossils and facts before his wrap-up. A successful visit and a lot of fun.