S.T.O.P. BULLYING. What a timely topic for young people.
Welcome, Linda! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A native Arkansan, I grew up in a very small town the fourth of twelve children. I kid with people all the time about my “lucky” number being “four” because of the many incidences of four in my life. I’m the fourth child with four children. I was born on the fourth day of the fourth month. My two oldest children each have four children apiece. I truly don’t know if the number four has ever been my good luck charm, but it is coincidental. My husband and I have six children between us, again four girls and two boys, ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Writing for children has been and still is my greatest inspiration. I am a member of the Village Writer Club in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas where I live. Also an active member of the NLAPW (National League of American Pen Women), I currently serve as secretary of our local branch, Pioneer Branch, in Little Rock.
Please tell us about your new book.
My latest book, S.T.O.P. BULLYING, I had been working on about nine months before self publishing it. I felt a need to get it out there because of the growing need to address this subject. Current events inspire me, especially when children are affected or involved. The title is self explanatory, but I will elaborate on it a bit. My thirteen year old cousin, who is a strong advocate of anti bullying and has won many awards through his involvement in various programs, was himself bullied and was my inspiration for writing the book. Earnest is featured in my book, but is the only real name I used. The rest are pseudonyms but are actually real stories.
Below is an excerpt from S.T.O.P. BULLYING.
“Most of the time bullying goes unreported for fear that nothing will be done about it or for fear the perpetrator will retaliate. The victims suffer in silence, and that’s why many make the tragic decision to stop it themselves.”
“Children who are bullied are two to nine times more likely to think of suicide, and boys are of higher risk of committing the act. While girls usually bully socially, inclusion and exclusion, boys are more prone to using physical and verbal attacks. With the expansion of technology, cyber attacks are becoming more frequently used. Forty six hundred adolescents kill themselves worldwide every year, and a large number is due to bullying. Even though suicide is only one of many consequences of bullying it can’t be overlooked because of the link between bullying and suicide.”
Where do you get the ideas for your books?
My ideas are generated from different outlets. A book I’m presently working on came from a simple event of looking into the sky on a starlit night. One thing led to another and a book was born. I may wake up in the middle of the night thinking about one thing and my thoughts shift gears and soon another bright idea for a book is formed. My first book’s idea came from my experience of living in snowbound places like Illinois and Michigan. I often wondered how long someone or something could last if they were rolled up in a snowball. Voila. The Adventures of Boots: The Giant Snowball was created. I don’t remember where the idea came from when I wrote A Porpoise For Cara.
Do you have advice for aspiring authors?
Read, read and read; research, research and research; edit, edit and edit. When I started my first book, I learned that I knew nothing about writing at all. There is so much to learn. Make sure as you write and submit your work pay close attention to “Submission Guidelines” of the publisher. I was so ignorant of everything; I had to ask what that meant. All I knew was I wanted to write a book. I even try writing poems and have learned that even poetry has its own guidelines and styles that must be strictly adhered to. I learned a lot on this website: http://www.writersrelief.com/
Do you have a memorable moment since beginning your writing career?
I think the happiest moment of my writing life would be the day I received the email from my publisher accepting my first book and sending a contract. I sincerely thank Ami Warren and Willow Moon Publishing for giving me a start. My husband thought I was having a heart attack or merely going crazy when hearing me yell and something going “bump.” The bump was my knee hitting the keyboard tray on the desk. He came running and said, “Girl you’d better calm down.” My thoughts went back to my instructor, Mrs. Martin, of Communications I, II and III. She recommended me for Honors Writing when I was in college, but of course, I didn’t take it. She often told me she could see me being a journalist or even an author one day. Here I am!
(She would love for you to visit her blog)
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