Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms
by D. K. Smith
YA, Mystery, Hero
Margo is pretty, popular and unsympathetic to just how intense bullying can get. As a counterfeiting plot sweeps through the city of Oak View, life for Margo will change dramatically.
With a mystery unfolding, an unlikely group of heroes emerges. Bullied teens love them, the police hate them and bullies fear them. Together they will try to get to the bottom of the counterfeiting mystery while ingeniously teaching a few bullies a lesson or two along the way… that is, if the police don’t catch them first.
The hallway was dark and the walls were lined with a material that felt like velvet. As she walked down the hallways, Margo could hear snippets of several conversations. She paid close attention to her route so she would know how to get back. She encountered the two men who had gone behind the curtain earlier. They stared at her with equal parts suspicion and flirtation as they passed. Margo kept calm and stared straight ahead as if she knew where she was going. She made a turn down a path at the end of the hall, hoping that it didn’t lead to a dead end.
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A native of Los Angeles, D.K. Smith began his writing career after getting news that he would soon become an uncle. Wanting to create stories and characters for his expected niece, he created the children's book series "Sock n Boots Adventures." The two characters (three year old Sock and five year old Boots) began to make names for themselves, generating downloads in countries around the world. From there, the love of storytelling blossomed into novels across multiple genres.
I've been asked many times how I came up with the concept for Mind Over Bullies. Well, I am a big fan of superhero type stories, especially movies. But of course, the bullying epidemic is real and in a horrifying way. For example, when doing research for the book I came across a story in the news about a young girl that jumped in front of a subway train after weeks of bullying. As I investigated further, I was shocked at the number of similar stories I encountered. Bullycide, the news was calling it. I thought, wow, what if these young people had been shown that the pain of bullying can be handled without hurting themselves or someone else.
So, the challenge became how to take such a terrible, real life experience like bullying, and merge it with my superhero gene. I wanted to make a story that was not only realistic so that victims of bullying could identify with it, but also one that had the superhero element that would make people stand up and cheer. Seeing people rave about a movie after it's over and even having intense feelings about a well-developed movie myself has always left me with a desire to tell stories and take people on mental journeys. I knew I would never have a career in film, so writing was the next best thing for me, and I went about writing Mind Over Bullies like a director creating a film. I wanted to create highs and lows to take the readers through a range of emotions. I crafted some portions to help readers feel for the characters and other scenes that create the moment of triumph for the underdog, the kind of scene that makes a movie audience applaud.
I wanted to have a multi-racial cast of characters with a wide variety of personalities in the hope that readers would connect with one of them. It was important to me that the main character be a strong teen female, being that teen girls make up the largest population of bullying victims per most reports. My goal was to let young women, and young men, see a teen battle bullying head-on and gain strength in the process as opposed to the more prevalent alternatives of victims hurting themselves or others.
I recognize that the characters and situations in the book may not represent every bullying situation and that realistically the book won't change the world, but I do sincerely hope that it sends a subtle message about there being life after bullying.
@A_MOB_Forms: Is media coverage of bullying counterproductive? Hear what author D.K. Smith says on the subject http://t.co/ubhEQU2awC
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