Welcome back everyone! I'm excited to introduce this next Author to you because she is a personal friend. While Robin D'Antona may not be a fiction author I think we can all benefit from her expertise in bullying prevention. She is the co-author of the recently released
A little about Robin:
Robin D’Antona, Ed.D. is an educational consultant and adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University. She conducts trainings, workshops and seminars nationally for school districts, after-school programs and other groups training parents, teachers, coaches and practitioners about bullying prevention. Robin is a National Certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Trainer.
She serves as an expert witness and reviews case documents and advises parties in bullying cases.
Robin is recognized as a dynamic lecturer and keynote speaker. She speaks nationally about bullying, cyber bullying and school safety at leading conferences and at symposiums at Harvard Medical School, Boston University Medical School and at Salem State University.
She is a founding Board Member of the International Bullying Prevention Association, which supports research-based best practices in bullying and violence prevention in schools. Robin has conducted and published research on the effects of bullying, bullying in athletics and cyber bullying.
She is an advisor to Sesame Street Workshop and was a consultant to the nationally distributed video production Words Can Work: Bullying True Stories. Robin has appeared as an expert on bullying prevention on WGBH-TV, WBZ-TV, CNN, and HLN news. She has been featured in articles in People Magazine, The Boston Globe and other publications.
Robin is a nationally regarded author on the issue of bullying. Her books include:
· Bullying Solutions: Learn to Overcome From Real Case Studies (Barrons Publishers. Release date 6/2014)
· Tackling Bullying in Athletics (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers 2010);
· 101 Facts About Bullying: What everyone should know (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers 2008)
- The Comfort Zone: Bullying Prevention in After School Programs (Bryson-Taylor Publishers 2008)
- Breaking Through The Line – Bullying and Athletics (1999)
I was lucky enough to get Robin to answer a few questions for all of us.
WMR: How did you get started writing?
Robin: Actually I do not consider my self a writer – I just like to talk about things that I feel passionate. I started writing informational pamphlets for a target audience – patents, teachers and youth. This gave me experience and confidence to continue writing. I find the process of writing difficult – I feel like I have so much to say but it is challenging to put that on paper. I find that once I get started I have to work until I have completed a section so that can mean long hours. Other times I just do background work to help me prepare. When I am stuck - I play solitaire on my computer. It clears my head and I can go back to writing with a fresh perspective.
For me writing is a process not an event. I often will be thinking of things I want to say at times when I am away from my computer, so I keep a notebook of what seem to be random thoughts. Then when I am putting together a chapter, I often refer to that notebook for ideas.
WMR: Why did you choose the subjects you have?
Robin: Actually my subject chose me – after the tragic death of my son from bullying over 20 years ago, I became interested in bullying prevention. Writing became an outlet to understand and heal. At the same time, it felt good to be proactive to help people be aware of the devastating impact of bullying and to provide tools for prevention. Now since bullying has become such a national topic, I look for areas related to bullying that have not been previously addressed. I was one of the first to write about bullying in athletics which was and still is considered an area where bullying does not exist.
When you are presenting a proposal to a publisher, one of the first things they want to know is: what other books have been written on your topic. So it is good to check that out before you begin writing. Look for a new topic or new angle on a topic that has not been previously published.
WMR: What do you hope to accomplish with your books?
Robin: I want to send a message of prevention and hope. Bullying has been going on for as long as there were children on a playground but it does not have to continue as long as we are aware, proactive and teaching children about kindness, empathy and self-respect.
WMR: Do you prefer to co-author or work on your own?
Robin: Actually all four books I have written have been with co-authors. It is great to be able to brainstorm and write with someone else, even when they live out of state. We are careful to be certain that the work has flow and is written in one style. That is crucial since when writing styles are mixed it may feel choppy to the reader. Right from the beginning we work out the details of how we will work together.
Then we map out the chapters in detail, giving the book an overall plan. In the last book my partner, Mike Carpenter, gathered all the personal stories of bullying and I handled all the writing of the problem solving key points as well as the suggestions for parents. We both edited the manuscript before we sent it to the publisher’s editor.
WMR: What do you like the most about being an author?
Robin: It is a great way to get out a message. I write best when I am “talking”, so I try to write as if I am having a conversation with someone. That way I feel as if I am being myself, and hopefully the reader will feel as If I am talking to them directly.
Writing has made me a better listener. Everyone has a story of bullying – either as a target, bystander or the one who bullies. Every time the topic of bullying comes up, people tell about me their personal experiences because it is such a universal topic. Talking helps them deal with their feelings and it gives me a greater perspective of the issue that I hope I can bring to my work.
Snippet from book:You can find Robin D'Antona on the web at http://www.stopbullyingma.org or on Twitter
It has been said that “knowledge is power.” In instances of bullying, knowledge of how others dealt with the problem can be an empowering tool for someone in a similar situation. Bullying Solutions compiles 40 real-life examples of various types of bullying and explores how they were confronted. These are not scientific case studies, but rather detailed illustrations of actual events. Some have a good outcome, others were not resolved successfully. By reviewing the actions of parents, school administrators, children, and others involved in the bullying cases, readers will benefit from the “lessons learned” from the mistakes of others in handling or even recognizing a bullying problem.