Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Guest Post: Sherryl Woods (and giveaway, too!)

I am pleased to welcome author Sherryl Woods to Always With a Book. Her latest book, Catching Fireflies, is now available. You can read my review of her book (and enter to win a copy) here. Today Sherryl is talking about the main message in her new book - bullying.

Way, way back I was the fat kid. I dreaded walking into a classroom or attempting to climb a rope in gym class or waiting to be the last kid chosen for the team. Amazingly, though, despite the unthinking cruelty of kids, I was never bullied. In fact I recall a conversation my mom had with a teacher when deciding I would not have to go through the potential torture of camp to be a school safety patrol officer. The teacher expressed her own amazement at how seldom I was ever taunted by classmates.

In other words, I lucked out. I was merely terminally shy back then, more a victim of my own insecurities than the cruelty of bullies. However, those days did make me incredibly sensitive to the impact bullying can have on young people. Recent news stories have only solidified my determination to do whatever little bit I can do to shine a light on these unnecessary tragedies.

Bullying is the focus of my latest Sweet Magnolias novel, Catching Fireflies (August, MIRA Book). In this story an alert high school teacher and a pediatrician, who've had their own devastating experiences with bullying, spot the signs in a high school student. Through their attempts to help this victim of cyber-bullying, they draw together not only the Sweet Magnolias, but the entire town of Serenity, South Carolina, to battle back, to say to the world that bullying is not acceptable here.

Though I pray that bullying is not an issue for your kids or in your community, I fear that's being overly optimistic. Therefore I hope every one of you will become more alert to the signs that your child is being bullied or more open to the possibility that your son or daughter could be guilty of bullying someone else. Parents, teachers, and pediatricians may be the first line of defense in putting an end to bullying among our young people.

Until bullying -- whether it's mistakenly called a prank, hijinks or a childhood right of passage -- is eradicated, the possibility of a tragedy is too high. Please, please, do whatever you can to ensure that the young people in your world are safe and can grow up with the sense of security and self-worth that they deserve.   

About the author: Sherryl Woods, New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, has written more than 100 romance and mystery novels. After graduating from the School of Journalism at Ohio State University, she spent more than ten years as a journalist and also spent some time coordinating a motivational program at the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Aside from reading and writing, Sherryl also enjoys gardening, tennis, theater, ballet and baseball. Currently she divides her time between Key Biscayne, Florida and Colonial Beach, Virginia, the small, river-front town where she spent her childhood summers.

Thank you Sherryl for writing this great and very timely post and thank you Eric from Media Connect for coordinating it!!!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Catching Fireflies!

1 comment

  1. Bullying is a very important issue. It's good to get information and possible solutions out in view by your books. Interesting post. Thanks.


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