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Covenant Communications

OREM — Most parents have a difficult time getting their kid to clean their room or take a bath, let alone coaxing them to give up their Game Boy or turn off the TV.

But a local children's author is actually using technology in hopes of getting kids to put down their digital addictions and pick up a book.

K.L. Fogg, author of the youth adventure series "Serpent Tide," is touring schools and showing a DVD clip that is a sneak preview of her book, with actors playing her characters.

Seeing the video gets the kids curious about the book and excited for reading, she says.

"The movie gives them something to look forward to. They will want to read about that part in the book," said K.L., or Karen Lynn, Fogg, 46, of Sandy.

To promote her book "Diamondback Cave," the last of her trilogy, Fogg aims to visit 18,000 students statewide by the end of May, just in time for summer vacation. The tour includes visiting 25 Utah County schools.

"Books can be just as exciting as movies. You get to use your imagination," said Rachel Langlois, public relations and promotions manager for Covenant Communications.

The 2.45-minute "Diamondback Cave" mini-movie was made from 12 hours of filming in a cave near Delta, Utah. There was even a real snake in the cave, which had to be removed before the crew went in to film that day.

The clip features teen actor Shawn Carter, of Bountiful, playing the character Wesley. Carter is a dancer in "High School Musical" parts 1 and 2.

"I've never done anything like it," said Carter, of the cave filming. "It was the first acting job where I've had to get dirty."

During the school assembly, the students also play a trivia game with questions from Fogg's book. "It's something fun and competitive to get the kids involved, and it helps them learn," Fogg said. Winners receive miniature flashlights.

Some of Fogg's trivia questions include:

• Which state has the most caves? (Missouri)

• What cave formation looks like icicles? (Stalactites)

• What is cave exploration called? (Spelunking)

After Fogg's presentation at Bonneville Elementary School, 1245 N. 800 West, Orem, principal Kim Roper asked the students how many had read Fogg's books. Several dozen raised their hands. When he asked who now wanted to read her books, almost all the children raised their hands.

Sixth-grader Bailey Lindstrom, 12, said, "I haven't read her book, but I want to. I like adventure and mysteries and stuff."

Bonneville Elementary sixth-grader Colten Smith, 11, said he isn't afraid of rattlesnakes so he could handle "Diamondback Cave." He added, "It's cool an actual author came to my school."

Bonneville Elementary librarian Pam Cook said the school has three copies of each of Fogg's books, and they are continuously checked out. "We can't keep them in," she said. "The kids are just passing them to each other."

Fogg is a former television news anchor, reporter and talk-show host.

She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Brigham Young University and studied for her master's in journalism at the University of Missouri.

E-mail: [email protected]