From the Vaults 1 Interviews

Blogs become treasure troves of memory.  Just sharing extracts from some of the interviews I have done from the last few years.  You are most welcome to go visit the whole interview.  You can find my folio of interesting blogs at Creative Souls Converse.

Interview with Shane Howard

Singing for a New Dreaming

“Part of creating a ‘new dreaming’ is the process of uncovering the truth about Australian history, and for Howard his finding of truth has been made possible through Irish Australian parents who were “very open minded, good and just” and instilled in him a love of music and song (from Irish Parlour songs to Bob Dylan, Peter Seeger, Woody Guthrie) and an openness to Aboriginal Australians who he credits with educating him with the truth.

Howard vividly remembers ‘serious questions’ gradually being raised in his mind from meeting with Aboriginal people – from Robert a friend who set next to him for a short time in class in primary school – to all the Aboriginal people encountered on his travels as a youth, with a limited budget, including an old man of the stolen generation.

“I kept running into Aboriginal people and grew more and more interested in the fact they were the real people of this country, they were the traditional owners, the original inhabitants. And that starts to invite some very serious questions – when you’ve been taught all your life that Australia was settled peaceably and there was no blood spilt here. Meeting Aboriginal Australia taught me that was a lie and that you’ve gotta search for the truth.”  (BushTV, 2012)

Cyclone Recovery Blogs

Shadows into Light Ten Months After Cyclone Yasi

You may wonder, ten months on from Cyclone Yasi, what life is like for the community and individuals I’ve written about on my blog. Straight after the cyclone life was extremely difficult, especially for those who’ d lost homes or work equipment. (ABC Open, 2011)

SandCliffe Writer’s Festival

Veny Armanno

We’re talking about issues of belonging and migration, I think – things I seem to have been writing about for decades. A lot of the discussion will depend on where the questions and conversations take us, but I’m sure Melissa will speak about indigineity, and I’ll be able to speak about European migration to Australia and the establishment of new homes and lives. We’re looking at this through the idea of being (or not being) an outsider.

Gregory Dreisse

I am looking forward to making some students giggle and some teachers learn some new things (maybe a giggle out of them too). I was approached through Speakers Ink.

Sheryl Gwyther

I’m chairing two sessions on Saturday 29th at Bracken Ridge Library: 9am-10.30, Unique Journeys with authors June Perkins, Duncan Richardson and Michael Aird.

And 11am-12.30,  Write of Passage with authors and journalists, Susan Johnson, Lauren Daniels and Jacqueline Henry. Should be fascinating!

Duncan Richardson

In telling a little of my journey with writing, I’d like to focus on the difference between false friends or muses and true living
sparks, when it comes to inspiration. I’ve known both and it took a while to learn the difference. If I can help new writers to save time by avoiding the false, that would be great.

LE Daniels

I’m chairing the event at the Brisbane Square Library with Veny Armanno and Melissa Lucashenko for ‘Insights of an Outsider’; a theme that underscores much of their literary work and serves up as a familiar perspective for writers across the globe.

For ‘Write of Passage’, Susan Johnson, Jacqueline Henry and I will be discussing the power of language as a societal catharsis and catalyst. That is both an immensely personal and vastly universal topic and I’m excited to see where it will go.

Writing Journey and the Power of Words Panel

Saturday 29th April 2017, was a day to be inspired as authors shared their writing journeys and ideas on the power of words with writers and readers gathered at Bracken Ridge Library.  Both sessions were chaired by Sheryl Gwyther (introduced by Adele Moy), an Australian children’s author. She writes novels, chapter books, short stories and school plays for children and short stories for adults. She is the recipient of two Australian Society of Authors’ Mentorships, and two May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowships as well as a SCBWI International Work-of-Outstanding-Promise award.

 

Will share more interviews from the vaults from poets, writers and illustrators in future From the Vaults posts.

10 Things about Poetry and Me: Andrea Gallagher

1.      What is your earliest memory of poetry?

My earliest memory of poetry was having a teacher introduce my class to Spike Milligan’s work in children’s books. He seemed incredibly fun.

 2.       When and why did you begin to write poetry for children?

 I have worked as a professional writer for more than 15 years in the corporate world and while this is a great career, I wasn’t finding it massively inspiring. I loved writing poetry and creative writing in all forms when I was young, but I went over to the very serious side of writing to make my living after school and that took a lot of fun out of it for quite a while.

So in 2013, I just started writing rhymes as a hobby to get my creative juices flowing after my very serious work days, and then the ideas for my two children’s books, Superstar Grandmas, and, Mega-rad Grand-dads, just took over.

3.       Do you think writing for children is the same or different as writing for adults (explain)?

 I think it is absolutely different. I think that writing for every new audience is different if you are doing it with care. If you want to write for the enjoyment, understanding, or action of any audience you need to step into their shoes and write for them, with them specifically in mind – and I believe this is especially important when your audience are children. I like to get down low and think about the world as if I were still 7 years old. I’ll sometimes go back to places I lived back then to try to recapture those feelings and thoughts and then try to write for the little book-loving girl I once was (who still lives inside of the adult me).

4.       If you could be any poet in history who would you choose to be and why?

T.S Elliot, not because I hope to emulate the style, but simply because I read this poetry when I was a teenager and the thought of this work makes me feel connected to that time in my life.

5.       What are five words to describe your poetry?

 Vibrant, punchy, symmetrical, rhyming, childish.

6.       Share a few lines from one of the poems you have written that you are most proud of?

I wrote my first published poem when I was 11 and, although it’s simple and childish, it helped me tell the world what my very unusual experience of life was like (I was going through a battle with cancer and writing was a great outlet for a lot of confusion and grief). It makes me cringe a little but I’m still proud that I found any sort of positive way to express what was going on for me at such a dramatic time:

Wish so hard upon a star,

wish that you weren’t who you are.

Cry all night without a tear

to know the end may soon be near.

Hurt so bad it doesn’t show,

dream, but never let them grow.

Write, but never touch the paper,

not quite now but maybe later.

Think of days that may not come,

the coldest feelings leave me numb.

Carry on and value life,

but sickness cuts deep like a knife.

7.       What is your favourite form of poetry?

I like to write simple and very structured pieces that use rhyme, however I love to read long, meandering prose that uses strong visual elements to tell heartfelt stories. I hope to write like that when I grow up.   

8.       Have any of your poems been illustrated? If so what did you think of the illustration?

Yes – I love the bright and vibrant illustration of Superstar Grandmas and Mega-rad Grandads (created by artist, David Clare) because I think it matches the energy of the characters created with the four-line rhyme I used throughout.

 9.        Where is your best spot for writing poetry and why?

On planes – no real idea why that is but I do a lot of creative writing when I’m on planes. It may be about the movement between my regular life and going somewhere else.  I also wake up with poetic ideas some mornings – words coming out of dreams and sleep!

10.   What advice do you have for other poets wanting to write for children?

Be childish – remember what it is to feel like a child.

Want to know more about Andrea, head to these links.

www.andreagallagher.com.au

www.facebook.com/superstargrandmas

www.facebook.com/megaradgrandads

Read a Kids Book review of her latest book HERE

Launching Mega-Rad Granddads!

 

After a bit of a wait, the Mega-rad Grandads’ book is almost here and (following the fun of the Superstar Grandmas book launch in December).

 

Mega-rad Grandads Community Book Launch

Sunday, 2-4pm, 23 April 2017

Grange Bowls Club

79 Sellheim St

Grange QLD 4051

Dave Clare’s art will be on display, and there will be  games to play outside that everyone in the family can enjoy together.

RSVP to andrea@penelopeandpeter.com

 

Interviewed by June Perkins

(part of an ongoing series on children’s poets)

Betty Cabral Collerson: Captivated by Nature

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Betty, the eldest of six children, was born and raised in Belém, a town on the mouth of the Amazon River, Brazil. Her childhood included some amazing incidents, like when she woke up in the middle of the night with a spider monkey prancing in  her bedroom.

At sixteen, by choice,  she went to live in Rio, where she was meant to go to University, but at 19 she married an Englishmen and went to live in England. It was the start of much travelling and moving around the world, until they finally settled in Australia in 1990 with their three children.

After arriving in Australia, Betty graduated with an honours degree in psychology by Griffith University and a research PhD in Cognitive Psychology by the University of Queensland. However, her true passions are writing, photography, and above all her four gorgeous grandchildren. 

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1. June: Tell us the story of how you came to live in Australia

Betty: We were living in Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, from 1982 to 1990 because my ex-husband was working for Bougainville Copper, a large copper mine in the town of Panguna. However, when the armed conflict waged in Bougainville intensified around 1989, everyone had to be repatriated.

Since our two oldest children were in boarding school in Brisbane, about to start grade 10 and 12 respectively, we asked for a transfer to Australia instead of returning to the UK.

We arrived in  Australia in January 1990, and were meant to reside in Melbourne, where my ex-husband’s company was based, but because our children were attending school in Brisbane, we ended up settling there instead. Now, my two oldest children live in Melbourne, and the youngest in Amsterdam.

2. June: What themes inspire your arts practice in writing and photography Betty?

Betty: I am greatly inspired by people and the events that impact and shape our lives. Growing up by the Amazon River and rain forest has shaped my relationship with nature and fostered a deep love and respect for all animals.

For example, in the picture book Spider Monkey to the Rescue, I was inspired by a spider monkey that lived across the street from our house, in the Emilio Goeldi Museum. This monkey was an escape artist, and was the one that ended up in by bedroom one night.

In ‘Chatterbox Rosa,’ a story published in Sally Odgers’ Charms Vol. 1 Anthology, the inspiration was a pet parrot that could mimic our voices perfectly and her incessant chatter drove us all mad.

In Little Dragon’s Birth Day, I was inspired by the birth of my grandson Xavier in 2012, who was born in the year of the dragon according to the Chinese horoscope. We were all excited about his impending arrival but then on the day of his birth things got complicated and we had a big scare. The story tries to convey the excitement and also the perils of a child’s birth through the eyes of a dragons’ family.

In my photography, people, landscapes and birds feature. I am totally captivated by nature.

There is so much beauty all around but in our haste we sometimes fail to notice it. I want my photography to show the beauty that exists in simple things and everyday life.

Native Amazonians, who for thousands of years have developed ways of life that are in harmony with nature, and who believe that they’re reborn through their grandchildren, are also another major influence in my life.

3. June: Tell us about your latest book Betty?  How did this come about?  When and where will it be released?

Betty: Little Dragon’s Birth Day is currently being illustrated by Tanya Hempson, and as I mentioned it was inspired by the arrival of my grandson, Xavier. Tanya has been working on the illustrations for quite some time now, they are all hand drawn and coloured, so it takes time. We were hoping to have the book ready in time for Christmas; however, Tanya had to postpone the completion of the work due to family and other pressing commitments. I am now waiting for her to finish the illustrations before organising a launch.

In the mean time, I started another story; this one is about looking after a bonsai tree, which in many ways draws a parallel with caring for another person. It is loosely based on events that took place during the WWII, when Japanese citizens in the USA had to relinquish all their possessions and go to interment camps for the duration of the war.

Another book awaiting publication is Spider Monkey to the Rescue, which was illustrated by a Brazilian illustrator named Uoster Zielinski. The finished book is very beautiful and has a high educational content, teaching children about all these different animals from the Amazon rainforest.

A publisher in Brazil has expressed interest in publishing this book in English, Portuguese and Spanish. The publisher also owns a major book distribution business and sells to other countries in South and Central America, including Cuba and Mexico.

I met the publisher last year and he indicated that they would publish the book by September this year, but there has been so much upheaval in Brazil lately that he has put it on hold until further notice.

4. June: Have you published anything before this and can you tell us a bit about that?  What was the book? How did this come to be published?

Betty: I had Chatterbox Rosa, a story for 6-8 years old, published in 2013 in an anthology called Charms Vol. 1 (Ed. Sally Odgers). Sally Odgers, a terrific writer and editor, runs Affordable Manuscript Assessment and Workshops, and is the force behind Prints Charming, a shared imprint she administers.

Sally has published a few anthologies under the Prince Charming Book’s banner, which gives writers like myself the opportunity to see their work in print. I also had a poem – ‘The Migrant,’ published in an anthology called Wandering Thoughts (1994). This poem is about the losses experienced by those who have to migrate for whatever reasons.

In writing, poetry was my first love, but I found it difficult to write poetry in English, it is not the charms-coversame as in my first language, where I am deeply intimate with the nuances of words, so I haven’t done much in this genre since.

I have had two of my stories bought by the School Magazine this year. One, a non-fiction piece, talks about children going to school by boat in the Amazon. The other is again on the theme of migration, and the wish to teach your culture to the next generation in the family. It is a sweet story about the relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter, but from the perspective of a middle-eastern family.

5. June: When and why did you take up photography Betty? What are your main photographic subjects and themes? Can you tell me about the favourite picture you have ever taken?

Betty: My father was a keen amateur photographer, and as I child I got used to being photographed, filmed, etc, from an early age. When I was about ten, he gave me my first camera, a Kodak Starmatic, I think.  I was only allowed one black and white film, perhaps twelve shots, a month, so I had to learn not to waste my photos with silly stuff.

Not surprisingly, my first photos were of nature. In the Goeldi Museum, an anthropological research institute across the road from our house, there were these huge trees called Samaumeira (Ceiba Pentandra), which can reach up to seventy meters and have an incredible root system. I photographed them from a child’s perspective, which meant that my photos showed the might of these trees growing towards the sky. The shots must have looked good because my father was quite impressed by them.

In my photography, I am totally captivated by nature, and children interacting with nature.

Birds feature strongly in my images; I love to photograph them, but I am in love with everything to do with nature. I have been captivated by macro photography and how it can show the intricacies of a flower, an insect, the fine design in the feathers on a bird, for example.

I want my photography to show the beauty that exists in everyday
life, in the simplest things, people included.

One of my favourite photos, taken a few years ago, still warms up my heart and makes me smile every time I look at it. It is of a young boy having fun on the beach with his dog.

There is much action and happiness in this shot. You can feel the magic of the bond between dog and child. I swear the dog has a smile on its face.

A Dog's Life

A Dog's Life

 

5. June: What major cultural and arts groups do you connect with and why? Can you tell me more about your connection with Writelinks?

Betty: I am a founding member of Writelinks, and attended its first meeting in the company of a still very committed group of like-minded people. It has been the best thing, and has opened the doors to the many facets of the writing and publishing world. In addition, the support and encouragement one gets from the other group members is priceless.

Writing is a lonely pursuit so the regular contact with others following the same path is most encouraging. I belong to SCBWI, Books Links and CBCA, all organisations devoted to promoting children’s literature, which are run by wonderful and committed people.

Unfortunately, as my photography passion has become all encompassing, I have not attended as many meetings and other events as I would like to, but I am still there and contribute in a small way.

Betty Collerson_Red Centre_07 (1 of 1)

This year saw me join two photography clubs in Brisbane – The Queensland Camera Group  and the Brisbane Camera Group, which are some of the oldest photography clubs in Queensland. I have enjoyed being part of these groups for similar reasons I enjoy being part of the writing scene.

I been receiving a tremendous amount of feedback for my work and have participated in local, national and international competitions. I have been receiving mostly merits and honours for the photos I submit for the clubs’ monthly competitions, which is encouraging.

I entered my first international competition this year, a non-graded event, which meant that amateurs at different levels and professional photographers were judged together. Five of my entries received an acceptance grade from the judges. Considering that in excess of 6,000 photographs were entered this was a remarkable result.

I am now preparing for an exhibition in October. It is part of a project organised by the Queensland Camera Group and 8-10 of my photos will form part of this exhibition. My project is on the issue of living with a disability, particularly mental illness.

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To find out more about Betty you can visit these spaces:

Betty Collerson

Travels in My Canoe

Facebook

Twitter

Flickr

 

Animating Anil – An Illustrator Fuelled by Fun

 

I first met Anil  Tortop  when  she and Ozan, her husband, were guest speakers for a professional development session for Writelinks,  and have been running into them quite a bit since.

Anil  and Ozan originally came from Turkey and when telling us their story on the professional development day Anil used some very cute illustrations and animations. Anil is part of the close knit and warm illustration community of Brisbane and  together with her husband can often be found supporting the self publishing dreams of many authors through their design and illustration team work as well as at Children’s Book Illustration events. She is a member of the Brisbane Illustrator’s Group and SCWIBI.

Recently I caught up with Anil, who has boundless energy, and was celebrating the recent release of River Riddle for Ashton Scholastic  to find out what animates her as an illustrator.

Today Anil, along with other illustrators is assisting at the Big Draw.

anil
Self portrait – Anil

1.June: Anil can you you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be an illustrator

Anil: I used to be an animator and drawing was a part of my job which I loved. Around eight years ago, a publisher/art director friend (who then became my husband) asked me to illustrate a book. Since then I’m constantly illustrating.

2.June: What are the main media you like to work in? Why?

Anil: Wacom Intuos + Photoshop. Because I love the ‘undo’ button! Well, that’s not the only reason of course. I like playing with other stuff too, but nothing feels as comfortable as digital on my professional work.

3.June: Has your style of illustration changed since you came to live in Australia? If it has why? How did you settle in?

Anil: I used to work in a publishing house as a full time illustrator which lead me to illustrate in many different styles. So changing style of illustration was nothing new to me. But I may have changed a bit, as a result of diversity here.

In Turkey I illustrated mostly chapter books, whereas here in Australia I do more picture books.

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Chapter Book Turkey – Journey to Story Town

4.June: Can you tell me about Tadaa?

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Anil and Ozan Tortop – Image Peter Allert

Anil: My husband Ozan, who has publishing and design background, and I founded Tadaa Book a couple years ago.We call ourselves “Children’s Booksmiths”, providing professional publishing services to authors who consider self-publishing.

We focus on illustrating and designing children’s books mostly. But we also support authors for the next steps, like publishing, creating websites, posters, bookmarks and all the other bookish things.

 

taadaa

 

5.June: What are some of your recent books and works, can you especially tell me about your work with apps?

Anil: My latest published book is River Riddle (Jim Dewar, Scholastic). I have just finished a picture book called Granny, Wait for Me!, which will be published very soon by Little Steps. In the meantime, I am currently working on three other picture books.

anil1

Also I have some ongoing projects like regularly illustrating for a Turkish children’s magazine, and doing illustrations and animations for an online education platform called Koantum.

Having an animation background, I love working on apps where I can combine my skills, even though animation work is very limited. I have worked on several interactive projects including some apps for AppTalia. My latest one is a storybook app, called Overlander Adventurers, written and created by Tamara Anne Hogan. Tadaa handled the project direction and my part was again illustrations and animations.

6.June:  What do you believe makes a good app?

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Illustration for App Overlander

Anil: Story is the key, of course. Then visuals, especially if it is for children. Then the technology behind it, nobody likes crashing apps. Sound, music, interactivity. It’s all combined, like all other good things.

For a picture book, we say 50% story and 50% illustration. For a good app, you need to add voice overs, sounds, animations and clean coding to story and illustrations.

7.June: How does your work with Scholastic differ or similar to your work with Tadaa, what sort of communication do you have with the author?

Anil: The creating process is pretty similar, only the people and their roles are different. With Tadaa,  authors are the publisher. I work directly with them and also the editor, if they hired one.

With Scholastic, Scholastic is the publisher. I work with their editor and I don’t have any communication with authors during the creating process.

8. June: Best experiences as an illustrator vs most challenging?

Anil: After over 40 books, I still love the moment that I hold and smell the fresh printed book best.  The feedback I receive sometimes make me awkwardly dance.

I still find each new book is a new challenge in a different way. But if I need to chose a ‘most challenging’ part, it would be deciding what to draw.

9.June: What sort of texts appeal to you and why?

Anil: Funny! I love fun.

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One of Anil’s many illustration contributions to books

10. June:  Thanks so much for sharing Anil.  I am sure there will be many more books and apps from you and the Tadaa team! I love your sense of fun and thanks so much for your time!

 

Anil’s Amazing links showcasing her work.

website: aniltortop.com
tadaa website: tadaabook.com
vimeo: vimeo.com/aniltortop/

 

 

 

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taadaa books – Illustration from Teddy Where are You?

 

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Another of Anil’s many illustration contributions

 

Stop the Bully: Karen Tyrrell Writing to Empower the Young

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Karen is offering a free book for the best comments on the book blog stop tour.

 

Writing to empower young people and children is a topic close to my heart, so I was thrilled to interview Karen Tyrrell, a local Brisbane author and former teacher, about her latest book Stop the Bully.

I met Karen virtually through the Monday writing sprint group on facebook (started by Anita Heiss and now chaired by Angela Sunde) which we are both members of and more recently have caught up with her in real space at Write links ( interested in joining email – brisbanewritelinks@gmail.com)

Karen’s book is written with children, victims, bullies and bystanders, parents, teachers, school Principals and the community all in mind.  It focuses on eight to twelve year olds but as we shall find out is intended as inspiring and equipping anyone reading it to stop bullying. I ask Karen what led her to write a book about how to deal with bullying.

She explains:

I was bullied as a child. Grade six was a bad year for me.  I dealt with it by focusing on my school year and doing well.  Later as an adult I was bullied when working as a teacher, by both parents and students over a period of two years, and although I initially seemed to cope with it, I ended up in a psychiatric hospital and suffering from a mental illness.  I have since recovered from the bullying and mental illness and have become a mental health advocate and anti-bullying campaigner. 

I realise now, I am the kind of person who when criticised becomes stronger and these experiences have made me into the advocate I am today. The goal with Stop the Bully was to create a fast paced story, a page turner with hooks that could send out positive messages about bullying prevention and resilience. I wanted an appealing story, where children could become engrossed in the story and care about characters.

Karen wanted to create a narrative which would empower readers to have their own discussions about how the characters deal with their challenges. She tells me the storyline of Stop the Bully:

Eleven year old Brian is hiding something can Brian stop the bully without revealing his shameful secret… His life is falling apart. Dad abandoned his Mum and sister Tara. Brian hates his new school. And now an aggressive bully attacks him every day. His shameful secret is a mystery, and is clues and hints as to what it might be are part of what makes the reader want to turn the page as they wonder  What will Brian do?  What will happen next? The mystery reveals the bullying dilemma from all angles including his parents, his classmates Pete and Amelia, his teacher Miss Bliss, the principal and even the bully who reveals his honest perspective.

Karen is keen to emphasise Stop the Bully will appeal to a wider audience than children being bullied:  

It is a helpful tool for Teacher’s counsellors, mental health workers, and parents – as well as children themselves and I’ve had many children’s writers interested in it too.

I could have done with this book when my children were this age and being bullied and can’t help but share some of our family story with Karen. She is an empathetic listener.

Karen shares one of the major strategies for dealing with bullying in her book:

The book covers a range of strategies as different approaches might be needed depending on the situation, but the bigger picture is that a team including victim, perpetrators, parent, classmates and community is needed to deal with bullying, I cover all angles in Stop the Bully.

I am particularly taken with the idea that the whole community needs to be involved in stopping bullying.

Although it is early days in the case of the response to the book from the public, Karen has had a number of beta readers and reviewers from advocates for mental health to school Principals, children’s writers, and parents with children in the target age group of the book.  She is active in a number of writing groups for adults and children and has drawn strength and support from these writers to write her book.

Since Karen’s past mental illness and triumphant recovery she has maintained links and connection with SANE and Beyond Blue.  The response, from all who have had early exposure to the book, whilst it has been written, or in the limited pre-release has been overwhelmingly positive.

I was excited to receive some five star reviews and an extremely positive response from a school Principal.  One of the reviewers, Ali Stegert, was particularly impressed that I wrote about the bully as sensitively as I wrote about the victim.

Another reviewer, a Children’s Mental Health promotion specialist is equally glowing:  ‘My kids couldn’t put this book down!  Clever characterization and compelling storyline gives ample opportunity for in-depth discussions on bullying and the strategies needed to tackle it.’ — Michael Hardie.

Karen’s most cherished goal is to have the book resonate with and empower children and their families.

She intimates that it is the:  

emotion in book which allows young readers to identify with either Brian or his other classmates, a few kids going through challenge, boy and girl characters, empathise challenges, identify anti- bullying strategies come together at end.  The book aims to open up discussions and then children can identify how they would react.  

Just a few of the writers Karen considers inspirational to her own journey are:

Anita Heiss, Jenny Stubbs, and Susan Gervay for their work in the community with literacy, spreading positive social messages. Susan Gervay has also written a book about bullies, called I am Jack.  PLUS I am spurred on by real life working class heroes who strive to speak out to help humanity.

I am inspired by people who have had big challenges in their lives, bullying, abuse, domestic violence and have then risen up and often become advocates for others.

 

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The best comment on this blog will receive a free book from Karen.

When I ask Karen whether this book might have made a difference to her as a child she answers thoughtfully:

When I was a child bullying was not spoken about at all, school was all about learning facts.  I had no idea when I was in year 6, of what to do, and felt like victim. Reading a book like this as a child could have possibly have changed my future life. Although the experience I had was necessary to writing this book.  That said I think I have become stronger through my experiences and developed emotional wisdom and self -awareness, as well as greater awareness of how other people feel.

The irony of bullying is that whilst it is an experience that tests our children and can have dire consequences, for those who develop the same self -awareness and emotional wisdom as Karen it can be a crystallising and motivating experience.

The conversation with Karen, makes me recall another one with a woman who on hearing about my son’s experience of being bullied through high school by both students and teachers, had the self-awareness to admit, ‘I was a bully at school, and I totally regret it.  We went for the sensitive boys, and one in particular who we teased or ignored, grew up to be extremely handsome and successful, and we gave him hell at school.’

There are several launches of Stop the Bully planned for Queensland. One has already been held in Brisbane. The Logan launch of the book will be held at Logan Library on June 21st Karen is looking forward all those who would benefit from the book joining her. All are welcome. There will be taekwondo demonstrations and some guest speakers in the mental health advocacy field.

To further enhance the engagement of children with the book Karen has some online support resources.

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The Next Stop in the Blog Tour for this Book is:  Nicky Johnson Review 11th June http://www.nickyjohnston.com.au/blog

STOP the Bully is endorsed by Kids Helpline and aligned with Kids Matter, Australian curriculum.

Download FREE children’s activities and FREE teacher notes from www.karentyrrell.com

ISBN: 9780987274069

Now available from Stop the Bully Amazon.