TINA TOLER-KEEL

I love many things in my life. The top of the list are God, my children, and writing.

For me, writing is a new career, one that will hopefully be taking off full speed ahead soon, but it is so much more. It isn’t just something I do, nor it is just another means to make money. Writing comes from my heart and soul. When I write a book, it isn’t a bunch of characters who are there just to be there. They all have meaning, have souls, have personalities (sometimes not good ones), and have experiences. They have something to say. I believe it is my job, as an author, to share their stories with my readers. Now, I know this makes me sound a little like a have a split personality, or maybe even two or three, but I don’t. I know the difference in fiction and reality. But, I also know readers get lost in the words of the book, leave their homes for a different place, and bond with the characters, often feeling like they are best friends. I know this, because it’s how I am when I read an amazing book.

I want to give more to my readers than just another ho-hum book. I want to give you an experience. I want to give you hope. I want to give you compassion. I want to give you a thrill. I want you to put down the book feeling like you just said good-bye to your best friend. I want you to sit and ponder what happens to the characters after the book is finished. I want them to touch you on an emotional level.

I love writing for Young Adults. There is so much pain they face, so many obstacles. Through my experiences, those of my children and their friends, and stories others have passed on to me, I have an understanding of the emotional issues teens face. Abuse? Self-Harm? Rape? Drugs? Low Self-Esteem? I’ve witnessed it all. I am not here on this earth to judge others, but it is my God-given gift to offer support, understanding, and help making teens feel they are not alone. I refuse to allow that gift to remain locked away, unopened. Writing for teens gives me the means to help. And, it is truly my honor and pleasure.

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