Annie On Writing

October 28, 2014

Karen Tyrrell – Author in the Spotlight

Filed under: Interview with Author — Annie Evett @ 8:30 am

Karen Tyrrell BEST  457 KB

Karen Tyrrell is an award winning mental health author and speaker. She appears on TV and radio. Karen wrote ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness and ME & HIM: A Guide to Recovery about surviving mental illness, and Bailey Beats the Blah and STOP the Bully to empower children.

Karen has taken time away from her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

The title of your latest novel ” STOP the Bully”  – a mid-grade novel for kids 8-12


What was your initial motivation or prompt to write this story?

Bullies stole my self-confidence and self-esteem when I was eleven-years-old and again when I was a bullied teacher.  Parents of my student bullied me, inflicting verbal, written and psychological abuse. I write STOP the Bully to help children reclaim their self-confidence.

Is the character in your story a reoccurring character in your writing?

Twelve-year-old Brian is a victim of bullying and abuse until he could take no more. He learns how to turn his life around and Stop the Bully.

I depicted a similar theme in my memoir Me and Her: A memoir of Madness. Karen Tyrrell: bullied teacher fights back.

In Bailey Beats the Blah: picture book, eight-year-old Bailey with low self-esteem learns how to beat his blah (anxiety and depression) and turn it into ha-ha-ha.

What sort of message or feeling are you hoping you leave your audience with?

 A strong message of hope. Doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, you can come out the other side as a victor and survivor.

 What sorts of challenges or insights have you had writing this?

 As human beings we’re all vulnerable to abuse or mental illness. But we can overcome these challenges and live a happy life again.

We must show empathy to the bully as well as the victim. The bully needs counseling and support to change his/ her behaviour.

What sort of research might you do before you begin writing?

I read research articles on proven ways to stop bullying or cope with mental illness. I incorporated those coping skills into the fiction storyline.

What sort of stories do you normally write? (Is this story a break from your norm?)

All my stories have a mental health resilience theme. I write memoir, self-help picture books and mid-grade novels for children, books to change lives.

Why is that?

I’m passionate about mental health, and empowering adults and children to take a stand.

What projects or new story lines do you have coming up in the near future?

1.      I’m so excited about my humorous kid’s Sci-Fi adventure series.        YES there’s a resilience theme intertwined! Can’t wait to share with the world!

2.       I’ve created two picture books with a difference.  Books that will hopefully challenge your thinking and behaviour.


Do you enter many writing competitions? Why/ Why not?

 Not any more. I don’t have time. Rather be working on an empowering book that will get published.

Are you a member of a writing group – either online or a physical one?

For four years, I was the coordinator of a face-to-face critique group Logan Genre Writers group. And the founding leader of Logan City Writers collective for two years. I’m now a member of Write Links who meets at the State Library.

Do you think these groups help or hinder a writer’s journey? Why?

  Writing Groups definitely help a writer to develop their craft and get published. They’ve taught me everything I know. So many co-members are Beta readers. I love how we critique and support each other’s work.

What encouragement or advice do you have for emerging writers?

Join a writers group. Enlist in as many writing courses as you can. Write what you’re passion about and infuse that energy into your writing and getting the word out there.

What advice or tips do you have for writers who feel they are stuck or have “writers block”?

Every day scribble down how you’re feeling in your journal, expressing your emotions and ideas honestly. Unblock any negative thoughts that hold back your creativity.

Where can others find this piece of work to read? 

 STOP the Bully is available on Amazon 

 Download FREE teacher notes and kid’s activities  from her website   Follow Karen on  Twitter  or  Facebook  Goodreads and Google+



  1. Thanks Annie,
    for putting me in the Spotlight with your interview questions.
    Thanks so much for your friendship and supporting my mental health books and platform.

    Looking forward to reading your review of STOP the Bully in two weeks time … Karen 🙂


    Comment by karenwrites19 — October 28, 2014 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  2. This is a fantastic interview! Writing groups are an amazing support network, I’m a member of the Ellenbrook Writer’s Group.

    I will share this on my WordPress blog, My Wonder Emporium, too!


    Comment by Michelle Dennis — October 28, 2014 @ 8:55 am | Reply

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thanks so much for reading this interview, commenting here and sharing. You are so WONDERFUL .. Karen xx


      Comment by karenwrites19 — October 28, 2014 @ 9:24 am | Reply

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