On February 11, 2011, I published my first young adult novel. In what originally began as a weekly student writing project in journal-ling, Abby, was born. My seventh grade students advised as real life models of their age group. While they learned more bout editing and the overall writing process, I learned more about the seventh grade3 psyche.
Abby, is dedicated to those individuals in my first and only experience teaching seventh grade. I m forever in your debt.
Reader's Favorite Winner
Purple Dragonfly for children's fiction winner
Abigail Van Buren Masterson chronicles her seventh grade year by writing to the famous advice columnist of the same name. From the beginning to the end of her school year, Abigail discovers a family she didn’t know existed, learns about Multiple Sclerosis first hand, is accepted as the “new kid” but bullied by the school Drama Queen, gets her first boyfriend, and is taught beginner French by an Italian, all while researching Abigail Van Buren for an English assignment.
The story of those awesome seventh graders responsible for my leap of faith into publishing continues into their eighth grade year when they dared me to do it again. As they entered their eighth grade year, they expected Abigail to so also.
Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention
In Raspberry Beret, Abby is in the eighth grade and discovers that the school bully is actually the victim of abuse at home. Head Cheerleader Sheila is a "cutter". Should Abby pity her or do her best to soothe her classmate's invisible wounds? As Abby struggles with her conscious, she settles into life in rural West Virginia when a new student takes way Abby's title as "new kid".
By the time these dear students left me for high school, my mind was already taking Abby on the same journey. But, what was this tale without that class of remarkable people? I didn't need to worry my little ol' head. James, the ring leader, came to my rescue demanding a continuation of the story. With him cracking the whip, Opening Pandora's Box (Reader's Favorite Winner) came to be. Thank you, James!
My battle with multiple sclerosis is ongoing and it is my goal to offer words of encouragement to my fellow warriors. I Have MS. What's Your Super Power? is a common sense guide for living with a very mysterious disease. So far, flying solo in the self-publication department, this common sense guide to living with multiple sclerosis elevated my writing career to a new level. Cathy Teets, owner of Headline Books, saw (and still does) potential in my story. In the fall of 2016, I became an author of nonfiction in this 80 page testament to the power of positive thought. I Have MS. What's Your Super Power? is internationally recognized at both the London and the Paris Book Festivals as well as being a five star award winning Reader's Favorite self-help title.
And then... this happened.