Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Author Spotlight: Tonya Hurley: Dear Bully Edition

Tonya Hurley is the New York Times best-selling author of the highly acclaimed “ghostgirl” book series; creator, writer and producer of animated and live action hit television series; writer and director of independent films; writer and director of commercials for Playstation, Gameboy and Warner Home Video; and creator of groundbreaking videogames. Visit Tonya: Website
Books: *Ghostgirl *Ghostgirl homecoming *Ghostgirl Lovesick

Buy the books: Amazon

First off, thank you for stopping by The Crazy Bookworm to talk about Dear Bully!

Thanks so much for having me and for spotlighting this amazing anthology.

In one word, describe a bully


What motivated you to contribute your story to Dear Bully?

The ghostgirl novels were not just about fitting in. They were also about the ways in which we are influenced, for better and worse, by our bullies, and the ways in which we bully ourselves --emotionally and psychologically, sometimes even physically, to be accepted by others. When I was approached to contribute to this project, I started thinking about my own bully and the ways I was shaped by that experience. The idea of writing him a letter to tell him after all these years seemed very appealing.

If you could give your teenage self a message, what would you say?

If you stay true to yourself, it’s going to work out just fine.

How would you handle a bully now versus when you were a teenager?

It’s hard to generalize. Bullies are different for everyone and some really intend serious harm, which is a whole different matter. In most cases though, they prey on our differences and the insecurities we may already have about ourselves. I think the best way to handle a bully is to be secure enough to ignore them. In the end, they are really just trying to get your attention because they can’t get anyone else’s. If that doesn’t work, tell someone. Get help. There’s plenty of it out there now.

A lot of bullied kids and teenagers suffer in silence, How would you encourage them to reach out?

Don’t keep it to yourself. Speak up. I think things like the media and social networking, and certainly books like Dear Bully are helping to open a dialog, shine a light on the problem and provide support to teens.

Did you ever come across a book that you could relate to, or that has helped you in some way?

Too many to list. I love to read biographies. They are my favorite. I really get something out of knowing other people’s stories and have they have overcome obstacles in their lives. I absolutely loved Patti Smith’s book Just Kids. It took me back to the time when I first moved to New York City. My twin sister Tracy and I were terrified to leave our apartment, coming from a such a small town. After two weeks of being shut-ins and eating peanut butter --the only thing we could afford, we decided to bite the bullet and camp out for Saturday Night Live tickets. There we met our tribe – Tamara Pajic Lang, Zach Galifianakis, and eventually A.D. Miles. It was such a magical time. We all felt like it was us against the world. It was like we had the city all to ourselves. All of us figuring out our way, together.

What would you like to say to the readers of Dear Bully?

Don't be silent. Don't be afraid.

Thank you, Tonya! It is a pleasure having you!

Thank you. I’m so proud to be part of this project.

A special thanks to Tonya for stopping by to speak out against bullying. Dear Bully: Blogger Edition was started here at The Crazy Bookworm to bring awareness to bullying and to promote the amazing book, Dear Bully.  To learn more about the book you can do so by visiting it's official website here. To find out more and/or to participate in Dear Bully: Blogger Edition you can click HERE. If you would like to share your story, you can remain anonymous. You can fill out the form that is provided in the linked post. Or you can e-mail me personally at crazybookworm@live.ca.
Dear Bully hits shelves on August 23rd by HarperTeen
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