Christian fiction author Felicity Abbott is a veteran Christian teacher who enjoys working with pre-teens and teenagers. She often mentors students as they deal with life’s experiences and helps students gain a Christian perspective on life and everyday difficulties. She was inspired to write Sorry, Bestie about bullying from a girl’s point of view because girl bullying often goes unnoticed since it is most times non-violent but still very hurtful. Her hope is that Lacy’s story will be a help to all girls: those being bullied and the girls who bully others. For the girls being bullied: have courage and know that there is help available.
FF: What is the inspiration behind the story in your book?
I felt that I needed to write Sorry, Bestie because as a teacher and as a mother I was seeing that young people need help navigating social situations, especially friendship. Too often teens make and only keep friends if they are fun, helpful or convenient. Unfortunately they haven’t been taught that being a true friend also means standing by the other person’s side during difficult times and being loyal. Also I felt that light needs to be shed on girl bullying. This often times goes unnoticed or flies under the radar because of its subtlety. Hurtful words and slights are no less harmful than being punched or kicked. The harm they cause may not be physical but can still have lingering social and psychological effects.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
I would say Kyle surprised me the most. I knew he would be sweet and sensitive, but I didn’t expect him to turn his back on Lacy the way he did. It turned out well though because the character is more realistic, more human this way.
FF: How do you go about getting in the right mindset to write for Middle Grade kids?
Well, as a middle grade teacher it wasn’t very difficult as I was with them every day! 🙂 The fun-loving, goofy spontaneity just rubs off on you! Also I was there to see the social drama of every day.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
I want readers to take some time to look at themselves; their relationships with each other and with Jesus. Do they know Jesus? Do they want to know more about Jesus and have a close friendship with Him? What are their friendships like? Are they kind and honest with each other? Do they help each other to do the right thing? Hopefully they help each other when there is a problem.
FF: What can you tell us about the protagonists?
Lacy is the main character. She is sad and lonely because her two friends left the school she is attending. Now she is left to face the mean girls in her class on her own.
Jade and Marie were her two best friends that left for other schools.
Rachel and Alyssa are the two main girl bullies who harass Lacy and who bullied Jade and Marie the year before.
Kyle is the boy that Lacy has been crushing on. He helps her prove how mean the bullies are.
Faith is the new girl who comes to the school and is bullied.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
It is so powerful because storytelling connects the reader on a much more personal level with the characters and the ideas than dry facts could ever do. Readers feel a bond with the characters, and often feel that they are a part of their world.
FF: What can readers expect from the rest of this series?
I am currently working on the prequel/sequel to Sorry, Bestie. It is a prequel and a sequel at the same time since it is a look at the past as it informs the present which is what happens after the end of Sorry, Bestie.
FF: Which do you find more interesting to write–the characters or the things they do?
Actually, for me, this is the same thing. The reader finds out the inner character of the protagonists through their actions.
FF: What do you love the most about your genre (as a reader or author)?
Wow, what a great question. I have to say that I love the wide-open nature of writing for this age group. There are so many possibilities! Pre-teens and teens are figuring out what they like and are trying out different things, including types of books. One day they will prefer mystery and another it will be a fun fantasy, a romance or something more sad like Shiloh or books about childhood cancer. It is fun to explore all these possibilities.
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
As a Christian I believe that God made us in His image and we are to live our lives to be worthy of Him. Though we are but human, God, through our Lord Jesus Christ strengthens us and guides us in our desire to be like Him. He is always there to help us in good times and in bad, a true friend. My hope is that the stories I write point readers to Christ.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
Growing up I loved reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I also loved Judy Blume and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor as authors. In college, as a French Literature student, I enjoyed reading the medieval authors especially Chrétien de Troyes and also eighteenth century authors and poets like Victor Hugo. Toward the end of my degree I liked reading novels and poetry from Francophone authors around the globe; Canada, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.
Genres: Middle Grade Kids, Contemporary, YA/Teen
Release Date: December 17, 2020
What is real friendship? How do you know if you have a real friend? Should a friend keep secrets or tattle? These are just some of the questions Lacy struggles with as her friends leave her to face the bullies at school alone. Depressed and lonely Lacy perseveres until the bullies attack the new girl, her one friend in class. What will Lacy do? Will she stay silent and lose her friend just like the last time?
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