#greatbarrierreefrescue #blogtour #booksontourpr #day4
Karen Tyrrell is the passionate author and motivational speaker behind a series of diverse, inclusive, anti-bullying, resilience and environmental topics, helping kids live STRONG through books with humour and self-belief. Today we ask Karen all about her intentions for her prolific writing and celebrate the success of her newest title, Great Barrier Reef Rescue.
Karen, congratulations on your fourth book in the Song Bird Superhero series, Great Barrier Reef Rescue! This title resonates strong themes on resilience, compassion, and ecological awareness and advocacy for its preservation.
What other themes did you incorporate into the book?
Disability/ diversity – Song Bird’s side-kick is a genius … and has cerebral palsy.
Girl power – Song Bird and Amy battle bullies and environmental villain, Destructo.
STEM science – Rosie, Amy and Ben utilize STEM science (science, technology, engineering and maths) to solve problems they face.
What are the main messages you hope readers will take away from the story?
- Kids can help rescue the Great Barrier Reef by doing simple practical things
- Kids can make a difference to the world and the environment
- Believe in yourself, never give up.
- Work as a team to solve the problem together.
Tell us a bit about your superhero protagonist, Rosie. What are her strengths and weaknesses? Where did you find the inspiration to create a character like this?
Strengths: In Song Bird Superhero, Frank the bully next door, bullies Rosie. At first, she’s unable to stop him. Rosie discovers her hidden super powers through singing and believing in herself.
Weaknesses: Rosie’s overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenges she faces. She battles confidence and self-belief. When she trusts in herself and works with her Superhero team, Amy and Ben they solve the problem together.
You received a wonderful endorsement from the Australian Marine Conservation Society for Great Barrier Reef Rescue. Congratulations! How did you go about obtaining this, and how important is it to receive recognised support for your work?
I sent an email to Australian Marine Conservation Society introducing myself and my author / teacher credentials. I explained how my book shares similar beliefs and themes to their organization. I requested they support Great Barrier Reef Rescue and supply resources for me to share in schools. Having a supporter or a sponsor increases the credibility and reach of my book.
What do you personally love most about the Great Barrier Reef? Tell us about your experiences there!
I love how everyone, regardless of age or ability, can experience the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef in some way. Children, the elderly and disabled can explore the Great Barrier Reef via sailing boats, glass bottomed boats, semi-submersibles, underwater helmet walking, shallow reef walking and witnessing turtles hatch. Snorkellers and divers can swim with turtles, giant Maori wrasse fish, rays and reef sharks. I’m so lucky to have experienced these first hand on my many visits to the reef and islands.
How can we all help to care for the reef and its endangered marine life and animals?
- Pick up litter before it gets into in waterways and the ocean.
- Reduce or stop your purchase of plastics or excessive packaging, especially plastic water bottles, plastic straws and takeaway containers.
- Reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably, a way of living that minimises impact on the planet.
- Where possible, use public transport or ride your bike.
- Recycle as much as you can, and use reusable shopping bags and water bottles.
- If you’re visiting the Great Barrier Reef, help scientists and researchers by getting involved in any of the Save the Reef programs.
- Read books to kids about environmental superheroes and how to become an eco-warrior.
When you started the Song Bird series, did you have a plan of succession for future titles, or did they progress naturally over time?
Originally, I wrote Song Bird Superhero as a one-off book. When I finished it, I realised the potential of Song Bird to not only save her school from bullies … but to save the environment.
Song Bird The Battle of Bug World – save the bees
Song Bird Rainforest Rescue – save the trees and rainforest
Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue – save the Great Barrier Reef
Do you have advice on writing junior fiction and middle grade series for aspiring writers?
Create a relatable hero character with a unique voice.
Craft an action-packed page-turning story, challenging the main character to shatter brick-wall problems.
You run a range of inspiring workshops for kids and writers on topics including anti-bullying strategies, book marketing, creative writing and storytelling. How do you go about planning these, and how do you manage your time with a busy writing schedule as well?
Each night, I make a plan of the tasks to complete the next day and over the next week. Daily writing on my work-in-progress and blogs always comes first. I create scripts for my writing workshops, author talks and pantomimes, based on my books. In the afternoons, I focus on the business side to writing and events.
Finally, we’re all hanging out to know… what’s next for Rosie and the Song Bird series? What is Karen Tyrrell currently working on?
LOL, I have many projects on the go. It depends on the success of Great Barrier Reef Rescue. If you or my readers want me to write Song Bird 5, please let me know ASAP.
ATM, I’m working on a new book series, a mash-up involving super powers, deep secrets, child mental health and humour. I don’t want to say too much until later in the year.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and passion with us, Karen! 😊
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