Turning the traditional approach to bully situations on its head, this gritty dark fantasy tale follows a girl bullied to the edge of suicide as she successfully etches out a journey of personal growth from a place of extreme despair. Her visits to an alternate world, a reflection of her own world, provides guided realisations wherein she finds the strength, and know how, to not only put an end to her own bully situation, but become a young advocate promoting the school anti-bullying policy, and more.
Targeted Age Group:: 13 – 24+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
After hearing about a rash of teen-suicides in 2011, I was determined to help young people dealing with bully situations gain a much better quality of school-life.
Although sincerely wanting to reach out to these vulnerable victims of school-bullying and encourage them to reclaim their lives, I was at a lost as to how to go about doing this.
Having travelled to the island of Koh Samui, Thailand, to recover from a motor cycle accident I'd had in Kathmandu, Nepal, six weeks of swimming in the ocean twice daily presented me with the realization that the best way I could help was to write a book showing victims of school-bullying a way to become empowered and bring a positive end to their suffering.
The book, Indigo Totums, I feel, is a gift to those who need it; writing for many decades, it is the only time an entire story came to me at once. I had spent those six weeks swimming in the Gulf of Thailand asking for guidance in finding a good, effect way to help those is desperate need; never dreaming it would be a book with such a powerful message it is becoming a tool to help those who cannot find their way out of a terrible situation. My belief remains; school is a place where all students should be able to feel safe.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The truth is this is the only book I've written whereby everything came to me already laid out!
I put little thought into the characters because when the story came to me the characters were all fully formed, as was the story… truly feels very much like a gift to be shared with those who need it.
1. FAT GIRL
Fat girl wasn’t really fat she constantly told herself, her mother, the few friends she had, and anyone else if the opportunity to mention it came up in conversation. Sure she had spots on her face, but they’d completely clear up, she’d grow out of them. Probably in a year’s time when she turned sixteen, or definitely by the time she was seventeen her mother told her time and again whenever fat girl was having a meltdown in front of the mirror. Still, though, none of that stopped her from getting ragged on every single school day for the last two and a half years. At least four girls, now 10th graders, called her ‘fat girl’, ‘pimple head’, and a host of other nasty names. All aimed at inflicting hurt. She was bullied intensely, non-stop.
Sitting five pews behind James’s brother, Dallas, it felt to Holly Allen that her mother was oblivious to the pain she suffered on a daily basis.
There was no refuge. She’d get it at every break from the witch bitches, Karissa, Lakisha, Brittany and Raven. Then on the way home at the back of the bus the jocks, Keegan Spooner, Trey and Mason, fuelled by the witch bitches, would spend the whole ride shooting jibes at her. At home in the evenings she’d spend three or more hours in pure terror, praying no one had raided the net with some latest cyber torment; a staged image or clip, vicious rumour, character assassination or a call to ostracize… there was simply no refuge to be had. Holly felt her life disintegrating into a living hell.
Looking at James’s coffin she wondered if that wasn’t the best way out for her. Holly was entertaining exceptionally dark thoughts as she attended the funeral of a 9th grader who, late the previous week, committed suicide in the false belief it had been his only way to escape the constant bully terror he was subjected to. But she was soon to discover why suicide, harming herself and living in constant fear was precisely the wrong way to go.
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