Suggested Presentations

by James M Deem

 

Below you will find a number of talks that I have given. I am always happy to adapt or tailor a presentation specifically to your goals, so do not hesitate to ask. When the schedule permits, I always allow time for questions at the end.

 

General Presentations

I am often asked to give a general presentation. Two popular ones are:

 

Becoming a Writer

I introduce students to the major influences in my journey to become a writer, starting with my childhood and continuing through my school years. I talk about the time I got my first idea to write a story on my own and how I pursued that hobby without realizing that it could become a career. I give examples of how I get ideas for my books today and the steps I take to research and write them. This is a very personal account of what it's like to become a writer.

Showing a picture of my childhood home and discuss why it was an important influence on me

 

The Fun of Researching and Writing

After a brief introduction, I describe the sometimes strange but always exciting experiences that I have as I researched my books, starting with my first nonfiction book and ending with whatever book I am currently working on. Throughout the talk, students come to understand what is involved in the research process and why it can be so rewarding.

 

Talking about how I researched bog bodies

 

Book Presentations

I am often asked to give a presentation about one or more of my nonfiction books. 

Facial Reconstruction/Research/Historical Presentation based on Faces from the Past: Forgotten People of North America (Details about the presentation)

 

 

Bogs and Bog People based on Bodies from the Bog (Details about the presentation)

 

Egyptian Mummification based on How to Make a Mummy Talk

For this presentation, I take the audience on a 3000-year tour of mummification, showing how mummies (and their coffins and their canopic jars and various other items, many unusual) changed over that period of time. I have approximately 80 rare images in my PowerPoint from museums around the world that illustrate this dramatic evolution. 

 

Melting Glaciers as well as Ötzi the Iceman based on Bodies from the Ice (Details about the presentation)

 

Pompeii and Herculaneum and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius based onBodies from the Ash (Details about the presentation)

 

Holocaust Presentations

With the publication of three books related to the Holocaust, I have begun to speak to middle school and high school students who are studying this subject.

Speaking to students about Auschwitz at the Rossville Middle School in Rossville, Indiana

Auschwitz (Details about the presentation)

Kristallnacht (Details about the presentation)

The Prisoners of Breendonk (Details about the presentation)

Speaking about Kristallnacht to high school students at the International School of Berne, Switzerland

 

Presentations for Younger Children

With the exception of my books about the Holocaust, my current books are intended for students in grades 4 and up. However, I am sometimes asked to speak to younger students. As the father of four, I am comfortable speaking to any age group. When I speak to children in grades K-3, I usually talk to them briefly about my job as a writer and then prepare them for some stories by using a few PowerPoint slides to teach some vocabulary. Then I read a story or two that come from my book on buried treasure.

Speaking to a kindergarten class at Copenhagen International School

 

Fiction Presentation

I discuss how I became a writer and the role stories played in my life. I share with the students samples of my early stories and journals (pretty embarrassing now, but enlightening for students). I encourage them to see that they can capture their own reality by writing fiction. I briefly mention The Very Real Ghost Book of Christina Rose and Mystery Club of Luna Drive, but I spend the majority of my time talking about 3 NBs of Julian Drew; I read and discuss examples of character development. I then discuss how I get my ideas for writing fiction.

And if you want an even more special visit, I can run a writing workshop for a smaller group of students over a three-day visit.

 

And don't forget a lunch for aspiring young writers

If you like, I am also happy to eat lunch with a small group of aspiring young writers. This has proven to be an unforgettable opportunity for students. They can ask me questions and talk about writing in much more detail. If you are interested in this option, please let me know.

Lunch with students at Woodland Middle School in Gurnee, Illinois