Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bullies Aren't Always Your Enemy.

Bullying doesn't always come in the form of teenage students making fun of you in the halls of your high school. It's a wide-spread pandemic breeding inside social networks. It used to be if you were being bullied, you at least got a reprieve while you were away from school. Not anymore. Technology has seen to that. Teens are so immersed into social networking that it has become the window that bullies climb through without hesitation. Teens build fake accounts on FB, Twitter, MySpace, or any number of other sites in order to ridicule or taunt a fellow student.
Now the teen can't get away from it at all and girl bullies use tactics that are far more emotionally damaging than two girls pulling hair after school. "Mean Girls" as they've become known in the lexicon of our time, love to send silent threats, where it's what they don't say that can push a teen over the edge causing her to do the unthinkable and end her life. Many don't get the suicide is the only release they know to end the daily suffering. It's sickening that people actually get enjoyment from tearing down another person. Reducing them to the point where they feel so worthless, they are given one of two choices...fight back or give up. 

While I was aware of bullying when I wrote, "Forever ME" I never realized how much I didn't know about it until I began to talk to teens who had faced it head on. Girls are 100% in agreement, that the way boys bully and girls are completely different. Boys it's almost always a physical threat, with girls...the attack is psychological.  The mean girls don't want to just make the teen they are after afraid, they want to demean her, and make her feel like her self worth is less than zero. To them the thought of her killing herself is viewed as a form of entertainment. And should this teen actual give up and commit suicide, these girls will enjoy a brief moment of victory and then as if it were a breeze on their shoulder...move on to the next victim. 

However the one place we don't expect bullies to stalk and taunt us is in our home. More often than not, parents can be worse than strangers, due in large to the fact there is no one there to stop them. They're your parents, you have to listen to them. But before we go further let me say, there's a huge difference to discipline a kid who is out of control and beating down a child simply because you're bigger than they are. Parental bullying often comes in the form of a step-parent. One who wishes you weren't part of the equation and if they have a bitterness towards the absent father or mother then usually the child is the target of their rage. And we wonder what has become of our world. Sibling bullying is another form of terror that often goes unnoticed. The teen who is being attacked often won't say anything because they know eventually they are going to be all alone with the bully and fear the worst. It brought me to the question; "Why don't teens tell someone when they are being attacked?"
1. Fear of reprisal.
2. Telling someone means they are weak and they don't want to be looked on as a snitch.
3. The parent/teacher or adult either thinks it's not serious or thinks they're just trying to get attention. 

What's worse is when an adult tries to put it on the teen to deal with it...with insane instructions like: Just ignore them... Stomp on their foot...(really? Stomp on their foot?) Just avoid them.
When the parent should march themselves to the school and demand to see the teacher and principal together. 

Telling is not as simple as it sounds though. Persecuted teens for some reason feel like it's their cross to bear and they should accept it. This is how guns get brought to school...out of fear, how kids snap and go on a rampage...

Kids get into fights, but the days of two teens getting into it after school to simply settle their differences is over. Teen fights have now become the new Pay-Per-View event, where everyone with a cell phone is there to record it so it can be played over and over again adding more psychological damage to the bullied teen.
We have to find a way to encourage our teens to TELL SOMEONE if they are getting bullied.
There's no shame in telling. I've said in recent interviews about my book "If someone is bullying you and you're scared... PLEASE TELL SOMEONE! If that person won't listen, TELL SOMEONE ELSE! IF no one in your life listens, TELL ME! I will listen!" And I mean that, because it will not go away on its own.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Forever ME Nominated for Best YA Novel of 2013!

One of the great surprises of being a writer is when you see one of your friends get recognized for their work. Naturally you are excited for them, because it shows their quality of storytelling has reached someone and inspired them in a way that it merits being publicly awarded or acknowledged. What's even more exciting when you find out attention has been called to your work as well!

Such was the case for me yesterday. My long time personal friend and fellow author, M.E. Franco announced her book, "Where Will You Run" was nominated for an award with the eFestival of Words Virtual Book Fair, recognizing the best in Indie writing for 2013. She provided a link, like you do when you want people to know, you're not just talking out of your bee-hind. So I looked and sure enough there she was! (Not that I ever would have doubted her word.) So I see the list of nominees and to my happiness I see more author friends being called to attention too. Michelle Muto, For "The Haunting Season" in Horror, (A great book that I loved reading this year.) Muto is also up for best YA for "Don't Fear The Reaper" another favorite novel of mine.

So it was great seeing my friends and their works getting noticed, because without a doubt they all deserve it. They work very hard at their craft and do not slack at all. But then something astounding happened. As I was looking at the YA category I saw MY name and MY book, "Forever ME"....what? Wait? Is that possible? Sure enough it was....Now mind you I didn't even know this organization existed and how I got nominated is a complete mystery to me, but I am grateful, and humbled by it.

When I was in the theatre, I belonged to an organization that competed over 100 theaters against one another and I was privileged to be nominated as an actor many times, but I always wanted to win as a playwright. Because It meant more to me to have my writing acknowledged than it did my acting. Several of my plays were up for an award but sadly I never got one.  I used to think If I could just get that damn award, I would be vindicated as a writer. But my business partner pointed out to me, "You are vindicated every time an audience comes back and pays to see a show you've written. They know it's your show, your name is on the program. When you hear the laughter, that's your award, the applause, that's your award."  He was right!

So this time, I can truly be happy with just being nominated, I don't need to win to know, someone out there believes in my writing. Thank you who ever it was who made this possible for my friends and I and I promise to keep writing the best books I can!

Good Luck to all the fellow nominees, I am honored to be mentioned among you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Forever ME ~ Paperbacks LIVE NOW!

The Paperback version of Forever ME went live on Amazon officially tonight.
Originally planned for a May 6, 2013 release. Thanks to Amazon coming on line about 5 days earlier than expected. So there are three ways for you to get a paperback should you want one.

1. Buy directly from my estore at Createspace for $12.85 + whatever shipping is. 
Createspace E-store CLICK HERE.  (Nice royalty rate applies here.)

2. Via Amazon directly. $12.85 Same price, Shipping will vary based on your shopping.

Amazon Paperback of Forever ME CLICK HERE (Not so nice royalty rate here.)


3. Buy direct from me on my blog via PayPal. $15.00 and you get it autographed
    and the shipping is included!

Forever ME via PayPal CLICK HERE.

Questions or comments please drop me a message!
Thank you everyone who has been so supportive of this novel and its message!