A SHELL Cove parent has drawn from her experiences and those of her children to self-publish a book aimed at reducing incidents of bullying.
Julie-Anne Williams also hopes the book can become an approved manual to help schools address the issue, particularly given the recent rise of cyber-bullying.
Having dabbled in writing in the past, when she survived two aneurysms last year, the 48-year-old decided to actively concentrate on her writing.
She is married with five children, and works in babysitting and aged care.
"I was bullied as a child, and suffered through my son, who experienced quite horrific bullying," she said.
"Being a boy, it was more physical than what I went through."
Her book, Bully Me Not, includes chapters covering topics such as her family's experiences, different types of bullying, long-term effects and why children are targeted.
"It's serious, but with some fun bits as well, to keep the children interested," she said.
It also addresses the relatively new concept of cyber-bullying and the associated issues of anonymity and perceived lack of accountability by perpetrators.
"It's different from my era and my son's era," Mrs Williams said.
"This type of bullying wasn't around, but it's an issue now.
"Bullying just doesn't stay in the playground any more.
"The book offers tips for kids and parents.
"Teaching children just because they're 11 or 12, doesn't mean mum and dad shouldn't be monitoring it.
"They should be; not to spy, but make sure they're safe."
Mrs Williams also hopes that some proceeds from the book - which is aimed at years 4 to 5 and high school students, and their parents - could be donated to Illawarra schools to help fund anti-bullying programs and education.
The book is her second self-published work following last year's dark fantasy piece Twisted Torment.
Mrs Williams also has a few other writing projects in the pipeline.
She actively supported aspiring authors taking the self-publishing/print-on-demand route.
"If you're a no one, no one really wants to touch you," she said.
"It's a lot harder as you have to do all the work.
"It's harder to get book shops to look at it."
Since recovering from last year's illness, she opted to take writing more seriously.
"You see that light at the end of the tunnel, and it really makes you think, 'maybe I should do something'," she said.
"You realise life can be short, so try and do something with it."
Bully Me Not is available on amazon.com.