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Take 5 - Michael Embry

Is bullying getting better, or worse? Which is more difficult: being an author or a journalist? "Take 5" with prolific author Michael Embry below and find out:

1) Is The Bully List derived from your own personal experience?

I would say observations from my youth as well as from my studies in special education and being a substitute teacher. There were a couple of instances where I encountered a bully while in school but I believe most of us have had to deal with them at some point in time. I do know that there is a fear factor of sorts when a young person realizes they are being targeted by a bully. And from my studies, I know there are reasons why a person becomes a bully.

2) Do you think the current national focus on bullying goes far enough in addressing the problem?

It probably doesn't go far enough because bullying takes so many aspects such as physical, verbal, and cyber, and there aren't enough resources (guidance counselors, school psychologists, etc.) to handle the problem. I also believe all parents need to be aware of the situation. I do think it's positive that bullying is now part of the dialogue because it wasn't always the case. It wasn't too long ago that people would brush it off as saying "kids will be kids" or "they'll outgrow it." But we've learned that some bully kids grow up to be bully adults. I really believe that schools, churches, and other social outlets should teach children tolerance and respect toward others. And, of course, it should also be taught in the home.

3) Which is more difficult: being an author or a journalist?

Both can be difficult but I would say that being an author is probably more difficult because you have to be a self-starter unless you're under contract with a deadline to write a book. Being a journalist for more than 30 years has helped me stay focused while working on a book. Writing a novel involves sitting down and creating stories with "real" characters, developing descriptive scenes, dialogue that reflects the characters, and a flow that keeps the readers turning the pages -- and much more.

4) You've penned 10 books thus far. What keeps your creative fires burning?

I've always loved to write. I discovered long ago that was the best way for me to express my thoughts and feelings. I have more story ideas that I plan to pursue -- short stories or novels -- and they will keep me busy for years to come. Everytime I pick up a newspaper or magazine, watch something on TV, or see an item on the Internet, I discover story possibilities. I also have a vivid imagination. There is no end in sight.

5) How would you sum up how you feel about your literary future in 5 words or less?

Best is yet to come.

Book Trailer: The Bully List

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