Author Interview- Nicola Mar
1. Please tell me about the book and who is it geared for?
Santa; is a novel about June, a teenager who is assaulted, bullied, and cyber bullied so severely that she thinks she has no other option but to commit suicide. The book details the physical and psychological changes that happen to June as a result of the bullying and shows the reader how June goes from being a relatively normal school girl to someone who is afraid, isolated, ashamed, and feels like she has no one on her side. The booked is geared towards teens who are experiencing bullying, but it can also be read by others—young and old—who want to understand the effects of bullying on victims.
2. What made you want to write a book about bullying?
In October 3013, I was flipping through the TV channels and landed on the Dr. Phil Show. His guest was a mother who was talking about the suicide of her daughter, a girl who had been bullied and cyber bullied after 4 boys assaulted her. My heart went out to the family and I started researching what the statistics were on teenage bullying. The results I found were shocking. Every year, approximately 2 million adolescents attempt suicide, with victims of bullying accounting for as much as half of those deaths. I wrote this book because I wanted to create awareness around this terrible problem that our country faces.
3. How does the title, Santa;, play into things?
The book is faith based, and Santa is an angel that June dreams about. Santa tries to encourage June to keep fighting, telling her that her life has meaning, purpose, and she can and will get through her struggles.
4.What is project Semicolon?
Ten percent of the sales of this book are being donated to Project Semicolon. Project Semicolon is an organization providing love and support to those who are struggling with depression, self-injury, and suicide. To a reader, a semicolon represents that a sentence is not over. To this organization, a semicolon symbolizes that a person’s life is not over. Project Semicolon has a great following on Facebook where people share their issues, struggles, and survival stories. You can also visit them online at www.projectsemicolon.org.
5. Please tell me about your road to publication.
I have always wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. My first short story was published in my yearbook when I was seven years old. Though I always dreamed of being an author, I never thought of writing as a career, only as a hobby. When I finally finished writing my first novel, my family and friends encouraged me to publish it. Since that day a few years ago, I decided I was going to write full-time. Now, I have two books published and am working on my third.
6. Any advice for fellow writers?
Write every day! No one feels like writing every day, but it’s a job and a chore just like any other profession. Even though we love writing, sometimes we need to be pushed to do it. I suggest scheduling a time to write daily and sitting down at your computer until you get at least 500 words out. You don’t necessarily have to be working on something you want to be published. Write about your day or your goals for the future. Just make sure to write about something.
7. Just for fun, favorite ice cream?
I love ice cream! My favorite was Ben and Jerry’s Brownie Batter, but it’s discontinued. They have a new flavor called The Tonight Dough. That one is really yummy too.