I'm known as "the anti-bullying novelist," but I didn't intend to write anti-bullying books. I just started by writing what I hoped would be compelling stories. However, CAMP takes place in a girls sleepaway camp, and DANNY'S MOM is set in a high school. So showing what really goes on behind the closed gates and doors of our camps and schools, it was impossible for me not to write about bullying.
As a camp counselor, a teacher, and a school district program director, I've seen bullies turn something as simple as waiting for a school bus -- or a camp bus -- into a nightmare. I know that kids can be just plain mean, and that too often adults turn their backs on the victims and ignore the bullies. And we all know that adults can be bullies too. And we know that bullying can be fatal.
My novels appeal to teens and to adults -- from ages 13 to 93! -- and they have literally given me a bully pulpit, a platform from which we can keep the bullying conversation going in concert with professionals in our communities. I truly hope these discussions will make our camps and schools safer.
I hope, too, that you'll find CAMP and DANNY'S MOM to be really good reads!