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FAQs about Cracked

What inspired you to write Cracked?

My inspiration for CRACKED was for readers to “see” the invisible people in their lives. The kids that no one pays attention to. Smile at them. Say hello. Validate them. Small acts of kindness have the power to save people’s lives and even change the world. Kindness matters.

I was further inspired by the twelve years I spent teaching, ten of them in middle school. My number one goal while in my classroom was to show my students what kindness and compassion looked and sounded like. Many children needed to be taught how to be empathetic – it didn’t come naturally. I always felt it was my job to wisely use the teaching time I had. Any time I saw or heard of bullying I addressed it. Every single time. I never let it slide. I worked with both the victim and the bully...because it isn’t an accident that a bully is filled with enough anger to destroy another person’s life. I knew I had to reach the bully’s heart if I wanted the bullying to stop for good.

Is Cracked based on a true story?

No. The book is entirely fictional...but...I did base a character on my sister. Nikole is based on my actual sister Nikole. Her story of how she landed in the psych ward is also true. Her boyfriend Greg’s tragic and untimely death is another truth.

We’re you bullied a lot as a teenager?

Thankfully, no. I was blessed to have a wonderful childhood with parents and sisters who loved and encouraged me. While I wasn’t ever in the popular crowd I did have great friends and a really fun social life.

FAQs about Empty

What inspired you to write Empty?

In EMPTY, I explored the power of negative words. I wanted readers to know that what they say to each other—in person and online—has a deep impact on the human being on the receiving end. I also wanted to give a voice to the silently suffering and the bullied (I did that in CRACKED as well). In Empty, readers live inside of a forgotten person and feel her sadness. Empathy is a powerful thing. It can change attitudes and behaviors.

Will there ever be an epilogue or sequel to Empty?

No. But I understand that EMPTY’s ending has a way of punching you in the gut, me included. However, I like that the reader can continue the story however they want to in their mind - come to their own conclusions – there’s a definite power in that. I realize this might not be the response you were looking for, but it’s my best response.