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Skype Author Visit Guide

“My kindergarten class recently Skyped with Dianne de Las Casas and John Couret and it was great. The authors were engaging and creative with their presentation. Several of my students played Captain Deadeye: The Bully Shark at recess after this wonderful presentation. It’s an experience that my class won’t soon forget!” – Brian Smith, Wittenburg Elementary, North Carolina

“Thank you so much for a wonderful presentation today! The kids just loved the way you made the story more like a play and acted out the parts from the book! We really appreciate you taking the time to come and share your talents and author knowledge with the staff and students at SC Calvert Academy! …they enjoyed your visit. Again, thank you for being so gracious and making our event so much fun!” – Mayra Velilla-Ryte, 3rd Grade Teacher, South Carolina Calvert Academy (Virtual Author Visit)

Thank you for your interest in a Virtual Author Visit with Authors Dianne de Las Casas and John Couret for their Captain Deadeye Adventures! Technology is a wonderful way to connect authors and students when an in-person school visit is not possible. Dianne is a tech-savvy author and loves to communicate using available technology tools. This guide will help prepare your school for your Skype Author Visit with Dianne.

About the Authors
Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author of 28 books, a professional storyteller, the founder of international Picture Book Month, and an anti-bullying consultant. John Couret is an author, a film/television actor, a success coach, and an anti-bullying consultant as well. Bullying is the #1 cause of adolescent and teen suicide. Dianne and John were both bullied very badly as kids. They are now looking to make a difference, one child at a time, with their Captain Deadeye book series.

Why Skype?
Skype is a free video chat service that allows two parties with access to computers with web cameras to connect face-to-face using online video chat technology. You must have a Skype account to utilize the service. Visit http://www.skype.com to register for a free account. Skype does not use a phone line; you only need high-speed Internet access. You will need to download the software to your computer from the online site and it only takes a few minutes to set it up.

When an in-person visit is not possible (due to funding or logistics), video chat allows authors and students to connect in a “virtual” environment. The students can see, hear and speak with the author live without the author even being present in the school! It is a fun, economical way to connect with a favorite author.

Skype Honorarium:
The skinny about the Skype visit:
• $350 for a full 45-minute Skype Author Visit
• $450 for a back-to-back Skype Author Visits (2 separate sessions, same day)
• $550 for three back-to-back Skype Author Visits (3 separate sessions, same day)
• The fee, which is billed to you or your school by email, can be paid through PayPal or by check
• If paying by check, the check must arrive before the scheduled visit
• Checks should be made payable to Write Hook Media, LLC.

For ideas on how to fund a Captain Deadeye author visit with Dianne & John, visit:

If you are interested in booking Dianne to visit your school in person, the fee is $1,950 + expenses. For more details, visit http://captaindeadeye.com/author-visit-guide/

Skype Contact Info:
Dianne’s Skype ID is dianne.de.las.casas Be sure to type it exactly as you see it, in all lower case with the dots in between. Dianne will also need to have your Skype ID so that she and John can call you on the date of the scheduled Skype visit.

Request a Skype Author Visit:
Please fill out Dianne and John’s booking request form so that they can have all your contact information and check available dates. http://captaindeadeye.com/book-captain-deadeye/

You will need the following to complete a successful Skype author visit.
• Skype account and software downloaded to your computer
• High-speed internet access
• Computer with a webcam and microphone (most newer laptops have this built-in)
• Large screen or smart board connected to the computer (so the students can see the author)
• Speakers connected to the computer to amplify the sound so that the students can hear (if there is no smart board)
• Copies of Captain Deadeye books
• Dianne and John will Skype visit with elementary grades PK-6
• Dianne and John prefer to limit the number of students for a Skype visit to 100-120 (approximately 4 classes). Large assemblies work very well for in-person visits but Skype Author Visits are better suited for smaller groups

Pre-Visit Preparation:
Dianne and John’s Books
Dianne asks that your school and/or library have copies of her books as well as the Captain Deadeye book series (authored with John Couret) available to the students (in the library or classroom) and that the students are familiar with her body of work. You should share an excerpt of a Captain Deadeye title with your students. The more, the merrier! If you do not have Dianne’s children’s books, they can be ordered through her publisher. The ordering information is listed below.

Ordering Books
You can also offer the books for sale to the teachers and the students before your Skype Author Visit. Treat the Skype visit as special as you would if Dianne and John were visiting your school in person.

Captain Deadeye books can be ordered through Write Hook Media, LLC, Dianne and John’s publisher. You may contact info@writehookmedia.com or call 877-831-4790. You can also email Cali Belmont at whmassistant@gmail.com. Institutional book sale prices are as follows:

1-99 books ($6.00 each)
100-199 books @ 20% off ($4.80 each)
200+ books @ 40% off ($3.60 each)

Dianne’s children’s books can be ordered through Pelican Publishing Dianne’s picture book publisher. You can contact sales@pelicanpub.com 1-800-843-1724, ext. 329. Books are ordered at 40% off list price.

Flyers and Promotional Materials
It is also great to get children excited about Dianne’s Skype Visit by making signs to hang around the school, classroom or library. Images can be downloaded from the Captain Deadeye website. Please feel free to create promotional materials as you see fit. http://captaindeadeye.com/downloadable-images/

Bulletin Boards
Bulletin boards are fun and are a great way for students to connect with the author’s books. A plethora of book activities and images can be found on the Captain Deadeye website,

Questions from the Students
Dianne and John love answering student questions. To make the most of the short time available, please email questions ahead of time to Dianne at dianne@captaindeadeye.com. When students are asking their questions live, it is advisable to allow them to have their questions written down and in hand when they speak to Dianne and John (in the event they forget their question, it’s a quick reference).

Testing the Technology
It is a good idea to have a five minute test Skype session with Dianne to make sure that everything is working well. This will be done on the day of the scheduled Skype visit. Dianne will call you on your telephone and walk you through the steps if you need assistance.

“We Seem to Be Experiencing Technical Difficulties”
Sometimes, no matter what preparations were made in advance, there are technical difficulties beyond our control. Because Skype is a free service, there are times when an overload of users causes lag time in video or voice. Often, a simple hang-up and call-back can remedy this. If not, a Skype video call will need to be re-scheduled. Rest assured, Dianne and her team will make sure that you receive the fantastic Skype visit you expect and paid for!

Connect with Dianne and John Online Before the Visit
Dianne is tech-savvy and loves to communicate with her readers! You can connect with Dianne here:

• Dianne and John’s Website – Captain Deadeye http://captaindeadeye.com/
• Facebook Fan Page – (for everyone) http://www.facebook.com/captaindeadeye
• Twitter – (for grown-ups only) http://www.twitter.com/captaindeadeye1
• YouTube – (watch Dianne’s videos!) http://www.youtube.com/writehookmedia

What Can You Expect from Dianne and John?
Skype Author Visit:
• Dianne and John give background on themselves and why they wrote the Captain Deadeye series
• Dianne and John tell a story with props to open – interactive and fun
• Dianne and John talk about their books and the writing process
• Dianne and John conduct a live Q&A
o Students should stand in front of the webcam so that they are visible on screen
o Students should speak succinctly close to the microphone so that Dianne and John can hear them
o One question per student
• Dianne and John are also very flexible and spontaneous and may not always adhere to the above exactly but whatever they do with your students will be fun, educational and enjoyable

Study Guides/Book Activities:
Classroom discussion of Captain Deadeye will greatly facilitate student comprehension of the educational content of her program and books. Study guides and book activities can be accessed on the Captain Deadeye website http://captaindeadeye.com. Click on “Curriculum Connections.” There, you will find vocabulary; cross-curricular connections to math, science, social studies, and language arts; a character education curriculum, book activities, and more.

During the Visit: Here are some guidelines:
• Give the students a brief introduction of Dianne and John.
• “Dianne de Las Casas and John Couret are authors who tour the nation with their Captain Deadeye program, inspiring students to stop bullying and be lifesavers! Give it up for Authors Dianne de Las Casas and John Couret!”
• Have teachers present to assert crowd control
• Please take pictures of the students looking at the screen. (If you send Dianne pictures to use, she and John will send you a gift!)
• Limit one question per student so that more students may have a chance to interact with Dianne
• Have the student say his/her name and grade then ask the question, speaking clearly near the microphone and looking directly into the web camera
• Make sure the student has his/her question written down on a piece of paper as a quick reference guide in the event they forget the question.

After the Visit:
Discussion questions:
• What did you like best about the Skype visit?
• What did you learn about Dianne and John?
• What did you learn about Captain Deadeye?

Write a Letter to Dianne and John!
A language arts extension! If you would like for the students to practice their writing skills, encourage them to write a letter to the author! Letters can be mailed to:

Authors Dianne de Las Casas & John Couret
P.O. Box 73073
Metairie, LA 70033

A letter template is available and printable from the Captain Deadeye website in the Curriculum Connections section. Click on “Author Visit Letter.” Bulk letters from classes are welcome. All mail is answered personally by Dianne and John via snail mail although it sometimes takes a little while due to their extensive touring and writing schedule.

Teachers and students can also email Dianne and John at dianne@captaindeadeye.com. Dianne and John love hearing from you!

Your Gift!
Once you have completed the Skype Author Visit, Dianne and John will send you a package of bookmarks for the participating students and signed reading posters for participating teachers. Woo hoo!

Thank You!
Your cooperation with these requests is greatly appreciated and will help to ensure an enjoyable and enriching experience for both the performer and the students. Dianne and John look forward to Skype visiting with your school! Thank you.