Upstate author talks about message, inspiration behind children' - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate author talks about message, inspiration behind children's book focused on bullying

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Upstate author shows off "Willie" the inspiration behind children's book focused on bullying (FOX Carolina: 12/22/17). Upstate author shows off "Willie" the inspiration behind children's book focused on bullying (FOX Carolina: 12/22/17).
Upstate author shows off "Willie" the inspiration behind children's book focused on bullying (FOX Carolina: 12/22/17). Upstate author shows off "Willie" the inspiration behind children's book focused on bullying (FOX Carolina: 12/22/17).
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The real "Willie" is a lot sweeter than the Pekingese who terrorizes a town inside the pages of Road Rage Willie.

"He's a mean bully who thinks he's so cool," read author, Patrice Marotta.

Willie's story does take a turn though, that author Patrice Marotta hopes will inspire other bullies and victims to make as well. 

"Not only does it tell the story of a little bully, Willie, who the town, the people, well the dogs, dog town they came out in numbers and they stood up against him, they stood up for their children and the town and Willie was reformed, magically," said Marotta.

Bullied herself as a child, Marotta drew from personal experience to pen Willie's story.

"It sticks with someone the rest of their entire life. Not that it rules my life today but growing up through my teenage years, it did, had a lot to do with my self-image," said Marotta. 

Statistics from StopBullying.gov show that more than 70% of children have seen bullying in school but 57% of the time, when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds.

"Bullying goes from the playground all the way up to adulthood. It's a learned behavior and if we don't put a stop to it where the children are most impressionable at a very young age and stop teaching this behavior, it will never break the chain of bullying," said Marotta.

It's her hope that Willie's story will inspire at least some of those who are victims to take a stand. 

"Find someone that will support you. Never ever, ever stop because it will just keep going on and on and on and we don't need anymore children losing lives because they're being made to feel less of a human being," said Marotta.

To learn more about Road Rage Willie and Marotta's other books, click here.

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