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The Worst Thing Ever

Last Updated: Tuesday May 06 2008 15:18 GMT

Hot Seat: Libby Rees


Young author Libby Rees had a special role in NR's divorce programme - The Worst Thing Ever?

The tips shown in the programme were based on those from Libby's book Health, Hope and Happiness.

She wrote it after her parents split up to help other kids cope in that situation.

We asked you to send in your questions for Libby. She couldn't answer all of them but here's her answers.

Question 1: How did you feel after your parents split up? From Ennah, 10, Yorkshire

As I was only young at the time I was very upset and quite confused about what was going on between my parents, but my mum tried to make things as easy as possible by trying to settle any problems without upsetting me. Also, the fact that I had an elder brother to confide in helped me through such a difficult time.

Question 2: How did you cope after the divorce and was it difficult? From Sarah, 12, Barnsley

Surprisingly it was a lot easier after my parents had split up, as there were no more arguments. Although I was only six years old I could tell the atmosphere was a lot happier and this made it a lot easier for me to feel comfortable and relaxed. Over time I developed the strategies in my book which helped whenever I was finding things tough.

Question 3: Was it hard to write a whole book about divorce? From Ismahan, 10, Hayes

It wasn't too hard to write a book on divorce as I already had the tips on coping in my head from my own experience. Also, I have always enjoyed writing so I found it a great way to share my emotions and advice at the same time as doing something I love.

Question 4: I know your advice helps, but what happens if these things don't work? Not everyone is able to do the things you say because they keep it all locked up inside? From Mel, 12, Kent

Well one of the first tips in the book is to confide in someone you trust and although it may take a little time for some people to feel comfortable enough to do so, I feel that as soon as you do the rest of the tips in the book are a lot easier to follow through.

Question 5: I am 8 now. It was 2 years ago when my parent got divorced but I still have not got over it. What do you think I should do? From Molly, 8, Durham

As some time has gone by since your parents split, you may still have some issues to sort out before you can start to feel better. Try to look ahead to the future and keep positive. You could try writing down how you feel and this might help you work out exactly what it is you can't get over.

Question 6: Do you have any tips on how can I can cheer my mum up coz she always gets sad? From Bethany, 10, Kent

One idea is to find something you and your mum can both enjoy together even if it's just something small like watching a movie or starting a project. If your mum starts to feel sad again you will be able to remind her of all the fun you had on that day. I like making cards with little messages for my mum, so you could show her how much you care by sending her a special card of your own.

Question 7: Hi Libby, I read Mizz magazine and I saw a story about you in it and I would love to be a writer like you some day. And I want to know what it's like? And how did you come up with the tips used in your book? From Gabby, 12, Manchester

Well I already had the tips for the book in my head, but it wasn't until I was nine that I decided it would be a good idea to write them down and hopefully turn them into a book and amazingly enough I did. Ever since then I've had a great time doing interviews on radio and TV, working with charities and organisations that help other children whatever their problems. And of course I have had great fun being involved in the Newsround programme The Worst Thing Ever?

So my advice would be to keep a journal where you can write down ideas for stories and develop them. Another tip would be to read lots of different styles of books to help you decide on the kind of writing you want to do.

Question 8: Are you planning to publish another book? From Nivetha, 10, Ilford

My first book Help, Hope and Happiness, and my second At Sixes and Sevens have been about my own experiences, so at the moment I'm just keeping an eye out for any issues I feel will affect myself and other children my age. I write all sorts of things and have written a film and at the moment I'm working on another idea I had for the cinema.

Question 9: I read about you in Mizz magazine, and I really admire you. What do you suggest young people who want to write to do? Should we fulfil our dream, or is it pointless? How did you do it? From Shannon, 11, Enfield

I definitely don't think following your dream is pointless, starting to write at an early age can not only be fun but also a great way of opening up opportunities in the present and the future. I would suggest to anyone planning to write to make sure they had a solid plan, otherwise good ideas may be forgotten and wasted. And also I think as soon as you are feeling like a break from writing take one, as this should be an exciting and enjoyable project and not seem like a chore.

I started my first book without even thinking about it being published, it was just something I thought of during the summer holidays and I really enjoyed pulling all the ideas together in the shape of a book. Once I'd done that I decided to email some publishers and see if they would be interested in publishing it and that is how I got started. So don't give up, keep following your dream.

Question 10: My mum has just remarried and I don't know how to make friends with his kids (they seem nice.) Do you have any tips? From Charlotte, 12, Manchester

At first it may seem a bit awkward becoming suddenly close to someone you haven't known for very long, but if you already think these kids seem nice then I think all you need to do is find something you can all do together. By doing this you can find out things about each other and once you do, you'll hopefully always have something to chat about and a common interest. They probably feel exactly the same, so don't worry too much. Perhaps your mum and step-dad can arrange a day trip where you can all relax, so you can get to know each other better.