Dear Readers,


I wrote this book to help open discussion between parents and their children on some possibly otherwise uncomfortable topics. Among the topics discussed are suicide, teen sexuality, divorce, abuse and sexting among others. As a parent, I believe that any parent who believes that their child is “above it” takes the dangerous chance that their teen may become a statistic.


My book entitled “Snapshots from Home” is a collection of stories, written in the form of micro-minis. In other words, each story will be six or less pages in its entirety. This book was written about real issues that face teens today. It is blunt to the point of being haunting. As a writer I feel that stories should be haunting. That is because I personally find that it is only when I am haunted that I try to rectify a situation. In addition, .I attempted to create each story in such a way that the reader not only gets immersed in the issue at hand, but is also left to feel as if they just had a conversation with a friend in trouble and actually wants to help resolve that issue.


Being able to trust each other enough to communicate is usually what helps us resolve our problems.. I am sincerely hoping that through this book I might be able to give kids a few tools to do that with. Because feelings of isolation and of being misunderstood tend to be the thing that gets kids into trouble. Whereas, the words, “I am not alone” are quite empowering.


I wanted to write short stories all my life, but I was far too long-winded. It took me years to get to the point where I was in a place to actually just tell the story instead of chasing rabbits. What gave me the idea for this story collection was believe it or not... eavesdropping. Let me explain.


My daughter never strayed far from the living room, as I have a disability and she worries too much. So every day I would set out a huge buffet of snacks so that when she brought her friends home they would stay a while. This worked beyond my wildest dreams. I must have had thirty kids a day in my living room. Perhaps it was a bit tasteless, but I eavesdropped on a lot of conversations. I found that most of my daughter's friends either felt they couldn't talk to their parents or were clueless as to how to broach the subject that they were having trouble with.


This gave me the idea to write a book that kids or parents could use to open a discussion, without implying that they themselves had done something wrong. Why? Because these teen conversations showed me that kids aren't bad. They are just as curious now as they were when they were three. Most, in the end, did not go to their parents. I wanted so to find a way to comfort them and answer their questions.... and the next thing I knew, I was writing!


This book is written from the view-point of troubled teens. I tried very hard to be empathetic enough to put myself in the place of the character. To me that is the only way that these stories would become real to the reader and very easy to utilize. A writer friend of mine, Bear Jones, had already been published and helped me to “get to the point”. This was very important as I know most kids really don't like reading anything too long. I extend my heart-felt personal gratitude to him. And I hope the reader will as well.


If you are still thinking, “Not MY kid”, lets look at a few statistics. Did you know that one in five teens has used illegal drugs? By the 8th grade 29.5 percent of adolescents have consumed alcohol. Each year one in four teens will contract a sexually transmitted disease. We as parents have an important choice to make with our kids every day of every year. We can condemn them OR we can try keeping the lines of communication open. At these staggering and veritably terrifying rates, even if it's not your child... then it is someone they're talking to at school.


Every one of the teens that I allowed to read one of these, as I was writing, liked what they read and found something that they could relate to. They especially liked how short the stories were. As one young man said, “If it's too long then it's homework. And I ain't trying to do no homework.”


In my life I have discovered two great truths! The first is that we are never too young to end up in trouble. The other is
that we are never too old to lend a helping hand. That is the reason I wrote this book, in order to extend my hand to you and yours. And I sincerely hope it helps!


Thanks for listening,

Angel Dunworth

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