1) What sets your book apart from others?
I know there are tons of college survival manuals out there an many of them fall into 3 categories… 1, a compilation of quotes/stories from college students about their experiences, 2, a “list” type book… you know, 100 things to do, etc. Where there is one “thing” per page, and 3, a “clinical” type book written by psychologists or former college deans (or both). My book is different because it is based solely on the experiences I had and it is told from the heart. It is conversational in tone and very frank. It’s basically as if a little sister came to her big sister and said “What was it like for you in college?” The big sister closes the door to the bedroom and says “Sit down and let me tell you all about it”
2) Why should parents pay special attention to what you are doing?
I think because I am having a conversation with their first born daughters that they do not know how or are kind of afraid to have. Speaking from experience with my own mom and dad, I think parents (especially those who did attend college) are terrified when their little princesses go off to school. They know in the back of their minds what’s out there and they are torn between being “parental” which could drive their daughters away or being candid which could reveal some things about them they don’t want known… at least until they’re older. Actually, one of the beginning chapters in the book is addressed to the parents about making sure the parent/daughter relationship is on solid ground before she goes away and how to keep the lines of communication open while she’s gone. Knowing that communication is a two way street, I address the girls at the end of the book on how to effectively communicate with their parents.
3) What’s unique about your book?
My book speaks to young women on a “real” level. I am just telling it like it is… or was… and probably will be. I am not a “certified” anything except for maybe a certified good big sister. I think having that approach to this subject makes it more appealing to girls especially if they do not have anyone to talk to in this situation.
4) What has inspired you to develop this book?
I actually wrote this book in 1997 for my little sister when she went off to college. We are 7 years a part so I was well into the “real world” when she went away. It was a much smaller version and tailor made for her. Friends and family kept saying I should do something with it… meaning publish it but I didn’t have much confidence in it. Fast forward to about a year ago when the young woman, Natalie Holloway, disappeared from Aruba. That angered me so much because again yet another teen girl has fallen and alcohol, clubs, guys, etc. were involved. I was tired of this same story over and over again. I kept thinking to myself… “Where were this girl’s friends? Did anyone talk to her about responsible party-going and/or how to safely travel with friends? Why was she alone with more than one guy?” The list goes on and on and it prompted me to call my sister and get the copy of her book. I revised and revamped it to be relevant to all of my little sisters out there.
5) What do you hope to accomplish through your book?
I am hoping to arm young ladies with ammunition to make good decisions for themselves during their first dress rehearsal for the real world which is college. I want them to be safer and smarter than I was back then. I also want them to feel like someone cares about them and wants them to succeed especially if they are feeling like they have no one that understands. As Your Big Sister, I am there!
6) Who is your target audience?
11th/12th graders and college freshmen are my main targets but I am finding out that these progressive teens are starting to think about college in the 7th grade and up. This book is not only about going to college for the first time, it is about growing up, being responsible and safe. All of these age groups (and their parents) can benefit.
7) Do you have any other works for your readers to enjoy?
Actually, this is the first and it is turning into a series I think. I am also working on Your Big Sister’s Guide to the Real World. I have lots of sisterly advice on an array of subjects.
Please include a brief description of your book.
Your Big Sister’s Guide to Surviving College” is an insightful map to help girls navigate the journey through life as a college student. told in a “big sister to little sister” manner. About ten years ago, I wrote a freshman year college survival guide for my little sister that I presented to her when she moved into her dorm room for the first time. This amateur, Kinko’s produced spiral bound book contained advice on every aspect and scenario of what a young girl can expect in college and how to handle herself. My material was largely based on the experiences and sometimes the mistakes made by me and my friends. I recently resurrected the piece to bring it to all college-bound young ladies. I remember what is was like having to learn the ‘hard way’ about life on campus and life in general. For many girls, going away to college is a literally a crash course on becoming a woman and being completely responsible for yourself. With this book, my goal is to ‘soften the blow’ a bit and help young ladies learn life’s lessons armed with common sense and a little big sister wisdom. Every girl needs and deserves a big sister… in absence of a biological one, I am here for you.
So, Grab a cup of coffee, tea, Vitamin Water, whatever your pleasure…little sis! Get comfy… we’ve got a lot to talk about!