Today I'd like to introduce you to an incredibly inspiring author. Karen Tyrrell, Australian and Author, has found her niche in writing by focusing on a cause close to her heart. Karen writes about mental illness; she's published two non-fiction books on the topic and is now releasing her picture book for children, Bailey Beats the BLAH, which deals with depression in children and strategies they can implement to deal with the condition. But it's not just for those touched by mental illness, Bailey could be an kid, after all, we all feel Blah some days!
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of Bailey Beats the Blah and even got to participate in a mini pantomime of the story! Okay, it wasn't the leading role, but I think I was well cast as Fuzzy, Bailey's dog.
Enjoy Karen's interview:
Karen, through your writing, you're fast becoming well known as an advocate for mental health issues, a topic often whispered about and swept under the rug in our culture-- when did you first realise you were needed as a mental health champion?
I slipped into that role after my first shocking announcement of the title of my memoir, Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness. Word spread I spoke honestly about my experiences with mental illness and how I recovered. Community organizations requested I speak in public forums at hospitals, clubs, and groups and on radio and TV. Each time I spoke out I gained more confidence.
Were you met with any resistance from friends, family or the public when you decided to produce your memoir and guide on mental health?
I received different reactions ranging from curiosity and stigma to warm support. Some family members were concerned I would reveal their personal details. I chose to concentrate on my personal experiences only. With Me and Him: A guide to Recovery I focussed on my husband’s secrets and the profound impact his revelations had on both of us.
And which people have been your biggest supporters in this journey?
Support has come from a wide cross-section: my family, friends, neighbours, teachers, writers and mental health organisations … and from complete strangers across the world.
'Bailey Beats the BLAH' is a very unique idea for a children's picture book. Please share how the idea for this story formed.
I wanted to write a story about a boy who didn’t want to go to school, who experienced tummy aches, who believed he had no friends. As a teacher I came across many kids like this. I wanted the reader to become emotionally aware of what Bailey was going through, so he/ she will be able to reflect on his/her Blah feelings too. And how he could change.
And lastly, how can parents or teachers use this book to help fight stress, depression or other mental health issues with children? Are there strategies they can implement?
Bailey Beats the Blah can be used to initiate conversations on feelings, emotions, moods and simply how cope with ‘Blah’ days. Children can act out the story by downloading the puppets from my website. Teachers & parents can ask questions: how did Bailey overcome his Blah days. How can YOU change your day from Blah to ha-ha- ha? What can you do to keep yourself happy?
Bailey is aligned with Kids Matter program, part of the National Education curriculum and supported by counselling service, Kids Help Line.
FREE children's activities and FREE teacher notes can be downloaded from KarenTyrrell.com
Bailey Beats the Blah Book Giveaway
Help Stamp out the BLAH!
WIN: Copies of Bailey Beats the Blah, a signed Bailey artwork by illustrator Aaron Pocock and a picture book assessment with chief editor at Book Cover Café.
Leave a comment on any of the 16 hops on the Bailey Beats the Blah tour Nov 3rd -18th. The more comments you leave the MORE chances to WIN.
WINNERS announced on Nov 20th at www. karentyrrell.com
|Me as Fuzzy.|