Chris Michlewicz/Highlands Ranch Herald
Eighty sets of eyes follow David Schmidt as he paces across the center of a room filled with books. By the time he is done speaking, there are autograph-seekers in a neat little line.
Schmidt is getting a taste of the author life. The Lone Tree resident released three installments of a new children’s book series called “Natural Forces” in October, and now is in the middle of a whirlwind book promotion tour that has brought him before hundreds of fourth- and fifth-graders in Colorado and his home state of Wisconsin.
Schmidt’s most recent stop Feb. 11 brought him to Fox Creek Elementary School in Highlands Ranch, where two separate groups of 10- and 11-year-olds sat enthralled by his message. He spoke excitedly about breaking down writing barriers, discovering the endless possibilities of fiction and honing in on ideas that resonate with readers.
Schmidt’s aunt was an early mentor and editor, reviewing and returning his early work with corrections, but offering encouragement and feedback that helped him improve. He remembers the excitement he felt when thinking about creating his own worlds.
“I try to relate it to being a sculptor: you start with a block of clay and sculpt a world using words and characters from your mind,” Schmidt said.