Guest Post: Record what is Familiar by Nancy Carti Lepri

I came up with the topic of Tiny Angel several years ago when I realized I wanted to write something, but didn’t know what. I remembered a college professor advising to record what is familiar. Therefore, I thought of my childhood. Because I was shy, sensitive and had to wear glasses, I was often teased. Called “Four eyes” and “Teacher’s Pet”, I was lonely, yet I wanted to be invisible. This is what gave me the impetus to write this story.

In Tiny Angel, Macy Carver enrolls in a new school after a move. She is smart, overweight and wears glasses, which gives Kenny Thompson, the class bully, ammunition to tease her when all she wants is to make a friend and fit in. When her guardian angel, Jody, appears right when needed, she helps Macy find the confidence to acquire friends, thwart Kenny, and gain self-respect.
I plan to write a series of angel books and recently completed my sequel, which is about Macy’s first frieCnd, Tommy Hernandez, a Hispanic boy who is also bullied, but tackles other problems. My third book will delve into Susan Murray’s life, an African American girl Macy and Tommy befriended, with the fourth book telling why Kenny is a bully. Written to appeal to both genders, these stories will give readers the ability to learn about others, accept their differences, and gain a greater understanding of their peers. 
A few months ago, a Massachusetts teacher read Tiny Angel to her students. She shared the lessons in the book tackling the issues of bullying and friendship. Her class drew pictures of different scenes from the story, which she sent to me along with a delightful letter. This was such a joy and honor to receive and to learn the children liked my story and learned from it too.
I recently found out Tiny Angel was nominated for a Cybil Award!  What a tribute to be nominated!
This book gave me much pleasure to write. Wanting to incorporate angels with bullying, it is not preachy or to be considered a religious book. I wanted to show that bullying is wrong and hurtful and to let children understand they are not alone, as well as add a touch of whimsy with using an angel as a main character. Children can enjoy a bit of “fantasy” with my guardian angel, and learn how to rise above tormentors, find confidence and self-esteem, and realize everyone has value.  

Though Tiny Angel is the first book Nancy Carty Lepri authored, she illustrated several children’s books, taught online writing and drawing classes, worked as a senior editor for a national publisher, and copy edited and reviewed for “Affaire de Coeur” magazine. Currently Nancy freelances as an editor, reviews for and New York Journal of Books in addition to her writing. She lives in central North Carolina with her husband Art and spoiled feline, Tommy.