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The Latest News:
Bullying book published
GRAYLING — Journalist Kurt J. Kolka recently released his first novel “Afraid We Are Not” about his experience with bullying and its long-term impacts.
The text is available at Table 12 Coffee House (Espresso Bay) in Traverse City, Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, Tip’n the Mitten in Grayling and Beginning to End Christian Bookstore in Lewiston.
The northern Michigan resident is also working on establishing a ministry in Grayling to educate parents and victims on dealing with bullying.
Kolka's new book takes readers inside mind of bullying victim
GRAYLING — Award-winning journalist Kurt J. Kolka, formerly of the Gaylord Herald Times, takes a look inside the head of a bullying victim in his new book “Afraid We Are Not” to show how constant threats and name-calling wear down the victim.
“I researched a lot of novels on bullying before writing this,” says the Grayling native, a survivor of 10 years bullying himself. “They all talked about the feelings of loneliness and depression victims deal with, but not the other feelings.
“Way too often the words used by the bully become little recordings in the victim’s head. Over the years of abuse, the victim begins to believe what the bully is saying about them. Even long after the bullying has stopped, times of stress will bring back to memory the derogatory comments which were said. This happened to me.”
Kolka researched and wrote a series of stories on bullying beginning 2013. He talked to victims, parents, police, youth pastors, school administrators and counselors on the issue.
While he found people interested in curbing the problem, he still found many who downplayed its effects on the victim. They felt the victims were “too sensitive” or even “weak-minded.”
“I felt the only way to help people see what was happening was to write a novel about bullying and take the reader into the victim’s mind,” Kolka said. “I wanted to show people both how cruel bullying can be and how it affects the victim’s thoughts in the long term.
People need to understand why some kids don’t survive.”
Kolka used much of his research and some of his own experiences being bullied in the book and sewed them together with his imagination into a compelling plot.
“It is time we stopped looking at bullying as some minor childhood annoyance and recognized its potential for long-term harm,” Kolka said
The author is also taking his concern for bullying even farther recently. He is currently working on establishing a local ministry called Between The Pines Ministries in Grayling to educate parents and victims on dealing with the issue.
Kolka’s book is available at Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord; Tip’n the Mitten, Grayling; Beginning to End Christian Bookstore, Lewiston and Family Bookshelf, Fairview.