To commemorate the fact that today (4th May) is Anti-bullying day, I decided to publish an very special edition of Wattpad Wonders featuring an author whose novel contains and explores the theme of bullying.
Anti-Bullying Day (a.k.a. Pink Shirt day) is a day celebrated on various dates across the world, originating in Canada. In 2012, the United Nations declared the official day as May 4th and is recognized by over 25 countries worldwide, such as the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. On this day, those who participate wear pink, blue, or purple shirts (depending on location) to symbolize a stand against bullying.
“It’s quite simple really,” Bennett told me.
“You’ll be our good girl,” Declan said.
Jordan smiled. “And we’ll be your bad boys.”
I was silent for a moment. I looked at them, at the contract, and back at them. Then I calmly put the papers back on the table. I looked at the three of them and slowly rose from my seat.
“So what you’re telling me,” I said, my voice raising, “is that you got me to meet up with you in Starbucks probably ruining the rest of my senior year and maybe my life, just to make a contract with me because of your lewd desires?” I exclaimed.
Bennett blinked. “Lewd?”
Jordan looked at Declan. “What’s lewd? Is that a kind of food?”
Naomi Lorraine, more commonly known as Nerdy Naomi with her thick rimmed glasses and straight-A report card, is the most unpopular girl in her school. And even with the help of her sarcastic comebacks and the ability to give a good punch, that doesn’t stop her from getting bullied by everyone in Dartwell High. Every day her childhood bully, Raymond Meyers, knocks her off her feet, literally. And she can’t do anything but survive the laughs, insults, and bruises high school gives her.
The Three Musketeers are the baddest boys in her school: Bennett Frazier, Jordan Wallace, and Declan Lynch. All in one day, Naomi catches their attention one by one. With the girl’s snarky attitude, but innocent look, they can’t help but want her. But not the way you’re thinking. On no, not like that. Instead, it’s probably the whole opposite.
It’s quite simple really.
She’ll be their good girl.
And they’ll be her bad boys.
Rubix is the author of The Good Girl’s Bad Boys (blurb above) and I have managed to convince her to answer some questions for me.
Hey. The name’s RubixCube89201, but you can call me Rubix. Well, unless you want to call me 89201, then I’m cool with that too. I know I spelled “Rubik’s Cube” wrong, but I wrote it like for copyright reasons, and that’s it’s a hassle always putting the apostrophe. I’m a writer in this thing called Wattpad. I’m best known for being the cube puzzle that makes people go insane. I’m kidding about that last part being me. Well I’m best known for writing this book called, “The Good Girl’s Bad Boys: The Good, The Bad, and The Bullied” (TGGBB for short, saves me A LOT of time). Yeah, I know, a pretty cliché title, but people don’t mind, what matters really is what’s inside: A lot of grammar mistakes. Oh, and bullying as well. Yup, it’s right there on the title, right up there. Are you looking?
Why did you decide to write about bullying?
Honestly, from the start of TGGBB, it was never supposed to be about bullying in the first plac. It was about a girl and her three guy friends having a lot of adventures. The girl was bullied, and I must’ve written it really harshly because the readers were really affected by it. So I started to swerve the book towards bullying to just… spread the word. I’m glad I did.
Have you ever been affected by bullying?
Yes, I have, everyone has, I think. I’ve been bullied and I’ve witnessed bullying (not in just the movies, but in real life). But I used it to my advantage because my experiences helped me write TGGBB.
What sort of response have you had from readers?
About bullying? Well… tons. It was the comments from readers that had me write about bullying in TGGBB. So many people wrote comments like “I can’t believe someone will do this”, “how can anyone suffer like this?”, “what kind of person would do this to another?” Some readers even made threats to those fictional bullies, which means a lot for being emotionally affect my a fictional character.
Then there are the readers who confessed they were bullied themselves. In Chapter Fifty-Five: Hi My Name Is… (I have to admit I had to look it up, you can’t blame me for not memorizing all of my chapters) it was when the characters confessed they were bullied as well as me. I admitted I was bullied in the author’s note. Then the comments started rolling in: “Hi my name is ____ and I’ve been bullied” over and over again. Not only that I even got private messages, and I read each and everyone one of them. It made me sad of course to read all of them, but at the same time I was just happy that people are starting to open their eyes and talk about bullying.
Why do you think bullying is still a problem?
Haters gonna hate. You can say it like that, but I find it mostly of opinions as well. Take Youtube for example, the place is INFESTED with bullying. You can easily start a fight by just placing your opinion, whether it’s good or bad, and people will hate on you. Then when you’re bullied, most people won’t tell because they’ll be labeled as a “tattle-tale”, be ashamed that they’re bullied, and if the adults don’t help at all, it’ll only make things worse.
What can we do to help prevent bullying?
Ha, wow, I had to reread that question because I was about to say something else. You said “prevent” not “stop”. That took me by surprise. I talked about how you can’t “stop” bullying, and I’ve got comments saying how we can, and that we shouldn’t give up, and that you shouldn’t be negative. I don’t mean to be negative, but it’s the truth, we’ve been facing bullying for… pfft I don’t know, but the hashtags and campaigns won’t stop it, they just spread awareness. “Prevent” on the other hand is different.
I talked how bullying is like an incurable disease. No one can stop it, no one can cure it. You can’t make a hashtag or campaign to “stop cancer” once it’s already there, it’s pointless because it’s incurable. But I’m not saying to take it like a man or to end your misery by killing yourself. All I’m saying is that we have to focus on learning how to deal with it, not stopping it. Of course I’m not saying we should give up on trying to stop it, have other people do that, just focus on dealing it.
To your question, you can’t really do anything. You never know where bullying will strike next. You can’t expect that just because you’re so called really “nerdy” or “fat” or “ugly” or “stupid”, you’ll automatically be bullied. Once you DO know you’re being bullied, you need to learn how to deal with it, live with it, and then survive it. Really you need to stay strong and wait it out, have the bullying see you’re a strong person with a strong immune system, and it’ll slowly give up and find another victim. When you think of bullying you just think of a little kid getting a wedgie or having his OR HER (gender equality) lunch money stolen, but it’s not… just that. Things don’t get better after high school, I even found this website about workplace bullying, bullying on ADULTS. So this is a bit of a problem there. Not only kids, but the kids who look for help, adults, are just easily bullied. If you see things on the bright side, you’d be happy that bullying isn’t sexist, racist or age-ist (yeah, I made that up…), but the irony is that’s what causes bullying and many more.
Have you ever had any criticism/unkindness and if so how did you deal with that?
Yes and I’m still dealing with it. I’ve been writing for three years now, and it’s still not enough time to handle the criticism well. Before though, it would hit me really hard. I’d get depressed and think about quitting on the book. It was at the point I ignored Wattpad and comments just so I won’t accidentally read a hate comment. But I change my attitude and started to use the criticism. Maybe those people are intentionally being mean, or maybe those people are trying to help me become a better writer. Right now I’m editing TGGBB and I’m going to use the criticism to write a better book and be a better writer. The comments still hurt though, but I hope years from now, it won’t affect me as much.
What’s your favourite thing about writing?
Two things, if you don’t mind. One is the ability to write about anything. I can create new characters, go to new places, experience new things, and explore new genres. Then two is the laughs. The reason I really got into writing is my love to make people laugh. Whether you’re my friend or I barely know you, if I make you laugh by passing a joke, making a joke, or just being my goofy self, that will just make my day. With TGGBB, my favorite comments from my readers are the ones on how they fell on the floor laughing, trying to hold their laughter when it’s 2 AM in the morning, or their families and friends giving them weird looks and thinking if they should be put in a mental asylum. The thought of making people laugh through my writing can make my year.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
First, don’t think you’re going to get reads the moment you posted a chapter. When I posted the first chapter of TGGBB, no one read it. It takes time for the right readers to find the right book, your book. If you’re not getting any reads, don’t lose hope, just keep on writing. Write for yourself and for your future readers who will find your book. I don’t really like advertisements or book requests because I find that you shouldn’t take shortcuts compared to those who worked hard and were really patient with their works, but you can do that. If you want to become a better writer, then WRITE. Write, write, write until your hand hurts and your keyboard is a mess (not really the last part). The more you write, the more your writing develops because you’re more experienced. I’m not saying you’ll be an awesome writer in just a week or a month, it’ll take years. I’m STILL working on my writing. But at least you’ll be a week or a month better at writing. Take criticism, it’ll hurt, but it helps. If you know that your writing needs work, then work on it. Rewrite it if you have to so you won’t get criticism in the first place.
How do you get ideas for your stories?
Anyone can get a lot of ideas for a book from anywhere: movies, books, art, people, anything. My favourite place is in the shower (sorry for being weird) but it really does work, besides being a great place to sing- I mean (says dramatically) perform. But only a few people will know what to DO with that idea. Creativity or writing skill will only take you so far. You need both to go far. Your creativity will be wasted if you don’t have a writing skill to best interpret it, and vice versa.
Why do you like Wattpad?
Besides how awesome it is? Besides the thought of how you can put the past of writing to the future of technology together in one thing? Readers can read books of all genres by teenagers, aspiring writers. Aspiring writers don’t have to keep their stories in their files, but can share it to the whole world. The only flaw to publishing books is that you don’t know if anyone will like your book until you see the critic reviews. With Wattpad though, readers will comment what they like, what they don’t like, plot holes, grammar mistakes, anything, and it’ll help you write a better book.
Which scene did you enjoy writing the most?
The funny ones, I enjoy writing the funny scenes. The scenes that make the readers comment on how much they enjoyed it. The scenes I reread and it makes me laugh again. The scenes that once I write, I tell myself good job and hope my readers will enjoy it. THAT is my favourite scene.
Thanks so much Rubix for agreeing to be interviewed and I wish all the best in writing the sequel.