Hope Will Set You Free will help teens learn to cope with their feelings and find alternative outlets so they're no longer driven to commit violence, bully other kids, or turn to suicide as a response to bullying.
This project is sponsored by Ark of Hope for Children, a non-profit organization that advocates for abused and bullied children.
A portion of the proceeds from this campaign will be donated to this organization.
Hope Will Set You Free will be published by Maine Authors Publishing, a cooperative of self-published and independent authors.
Why is this project important?
Too many teens are taking their lives – or committing violence toward others – because they don't know how to cope with intense feelings. When teens aren't encouraged to talk about what's going on inside, their emotions can become overwhelming. Some of them lash out at others, and some of them sink into despair, believing that suicide is the only option.
I'm seeking funding to self-publish a book I'm writing, Hope Will Set You Free, which will help teens learn to cope with their emotions and express them in healthy ways, and help victims of bullying understand that they won't be bullied forever. Hope Will Set You Free will teach teens the tools and skills of emotional intelligence so they can manage overwhelming feelings and raise their self-esteem.
Most people, teens included, respond to criticism by internalizing it, which lowers self-esteem and creates a negative self-image. Understanding that this negative self-concept is based on the criticism or bullying, and is not a reflection of the true inner self, offers hope for healing.
As a published author and a survivor of emotional abuse and bullying, I want to help teens learn how to cope with their sadness and anger, and recover from low self-esteem, whether they are bullies or victims of bullying.
You can also see videos by clicking on the Gallery tab, above.
Teens don't often have enough life experience to know that, with time and attention, life can get better. Hope Will Set You Free will show teens that there are people who have overcome the issues they're struggling with. Interviews with people who have been bullied, and have gone on to live happy and productive lives, will be included, along with tips from psychologists on coping with bullies.
This book will be dedicated to Amanda Cummings, Ashlynn Conner, Tyler Clementi, Sam Denham, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, Amanda Todd, and others who have taken their lives in response to bullying.
Funds raised will be allocated as follows:
- book development and interviews
- professional book design
- editing and proofreading through at least two drafts
- printing the books
- postage and mailing materials to send copies for review
- payments for reviews of the book (yes, book reviews cost money – most of the bigger reviewers, like Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, are fairly expensive), and
- advertising online and in publications for teachers and school psychologists.
I will also donate a portion of the funds and book profits to worthy anti-bullying organizations such as the National Center for Bullying Prevention. By self-publishing the book, there will be a much larger profit to donate to these organizations than there would be if I published with a traditional publisher and took the standard 5-10% royalty rate.
I’ve already begun writing and interviewing, and plan to work with the publishing company that guided me in self-publishing The Box of Daughter, Maine Authors Publishing. They're a wonderful support for authors!
I hope to have this book in every middle school and high school library by the end of 2013.
About My Work
Earlier this year, I self-published a memoir, The Box of Daughter: Healing the Authentic Self, which is the story of my recovery from emotional abuse and bullying in childhood. The Box of Daughter recently won the Bronze medal in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Book Awards, and an Honorable Mention Award in the NE Book Festival Awards.
I’ve also published two books on acting (one for teens), a Kindle book, Dysfunctional Families, and a book of poems, The Box of Daughter & Other Poems. Links to samples of my writing are below.
My next book will be a workbook for people who have experienced emotional abuse, offering insights on healing and exercises for putting the past to rest and building self-esteem. The subject of emotional abuse is still taboo in our society – even though some studies suggest that it affects nearly 40% of the population at home, in school, and in the workplace – and I want to open the conversation, because so many people have been hurt and need support.
My long-term goal is to create a body of work to offer support and encourage healing from trauma and the growth of self-esteem for victims of bullying, emotional abuse, and domestic violence. The muse who fuels my writing already has two other books waiting in the wings. I have trouble keeping up!
Many thanks for your support! I hope that together we can save the lives of many of our young people.
You can read samples of my writing on the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse website, Salon.com, and MeaningfulWomen.com. My website includes excerpts from The Box of Daughter and my blog on Dysfunctional Families.