Today’s special guest is Nancy Carty Lepri, author of the tween chapbook, Tiny Angel. This book tackles the difficult issues young people face when moving to a new town and into a new school district. It also addresses the topic of bullying. The Phoebe Prince case, which captured national attention, took place in a town that is barely 30 minutes away from here. For those of you who might not have heard of the case, Phoebe Prince was a young girl who committed suicide after continued bullying at her school and online and by texting. A year prior to this, a young boy from a nearby community took his own life because he couldn’t handle the bullying any longer. He was only 11.
Here, the author shares the basis for Tiny Angel.
You know you want to write a children’s book, but wonder what to write. That was the prevailing question on my mind. Where to get ideas? Where to start? My first college writing course, “Creative Writing 101” answered these two questions. The professor stated, “Write what you know!” Sounds simple, right?
I always had the “itch” to be creative, whether through illustrating—I think I came out of the womb with a crayon in one hand—or writing, as the other hand must have held a book. This was my life’s goal. One day as I considered what to write, my insight became clear after witnessing some children picking on one of their peers. Thus, I wrote Tiny Angel.
As a child, I was sensitive and shy, which I am happy to say, I’ve outgrown! I kept to myself engrossed in schoolwork and books. Also having terrible eyesight, I started wearing glasses in the third grade. Due to this, some boys in my class started tormenting me. I was called “four-eyes” or “teacher’s pet”. Never did a day go by without receiving hurtful taunts. I often would not respond, but after one classmate crushed my beloved plastic Barbie lunchbox, that did it! I reported it to my teacher. Sadly, that made matters worse. From then on, I wanted to crawl into a hole and become invisible.
Remembering those unhappy days was the impetus to write Tiny Angel. Not only to purge the sadness I felt, but I also wanted to help other children going through similar circumstances. My desire was to let them know they are not alone, that someone else has endured this, and that things can get better. Children being bullied feel isolated and tend to magnify their hurts. After all, they are the center of their own world. When they are bullied, they feel slighted and less of a person.
I also believe we have guardian angels. I can site times when my own (also named Jody, after the angel in my book) has come to my aid. Angels can give children (and adults) comfort.
It is ironic that since I have matured and reconnected with several of my classmates, many of them have admitted their own insecurities and fears as children; and these were children whom I thought back then were the “cool kids” with not a care in the world. Funny that was not the case. No matter how happy or “with it” children may seem, I believe everyone has a fear or aspect about themselves they feel does not measure up.
Needless to say, if one child can learn to feel good about themself or find enjoyment by reading Tiny Angel, I will have accomplished the main goal for writing this book.
Nancy Carty Lepri, born and raised in Massachusetts, earned an AA degree in Visual Art from Cape Cod Community College and a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in writing from Western New England College. In addition, she was a freelance reporter for several local newspapers.
In 1995, Nancy and husband Art relocated to Wilmington NC where her publishing credits included the “Wilmington Magazine” as well as two national and international food-industry trade magazines.
Receiving Editor Certification through Cape Fear Community College in 2006, Nancy taught online writing and drawing courses, illustrated children’s books, started four mainstream novels, and had her children’s chapter book Tiny Angel, published through Guardian Angel Publishing in November 2009.
After a move to the Raleigh area in 2007, Nancy freelanced as senior editor for a national publisher, edited and wrote press releases for more than twenty novels, and copy edited and reviewed for “Affaire de Coeur” magazine. She currently edits and critiques manuscripts, reviews for ReaderToReader.com and New York Journal of Books, and has completed her sequel to Tiny Angel.
Watch the trailer!
Here is a short blurb from my review of Tiny Angel:
“In this engaging story, your tween will learn how to appreciate their talents, disarm bullies, and the importance of meaningful friendships.
I love the unique aspect of Macy having a guardian angel who encourages and helps her along her journey through the challenging transition from the school and the best friend she lost to truly coming into her own at her new school and making new friends.”
You can read the full review at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/tiny-angel-by-nancy-carty-lepri/.