Meet Your Neighbor: Kara Floyd, 37
Three years ago, after having her first child, Kara Floyd decided she would draw on her experiences as a former middle school science teacher to write a book about a girl going through the many phases of a middle-schooler.
While her newborn took long naps, the western Lake Worth mom sat at her computer and began writing. “I would make it my daily task to write 1,000 words. I had to use my time wisely if I wanted to make this book a reality.”
Floyd, 37, who last taught at Palm Springs before becoming a stay-at-home mom, thought her 10 years as a middle school teacher put her in a good position to write about what those days are like for kids.
After a year, Floyd had completed the rough draft of her book. After investing some $2,500 “Olivia West vs. Middle School Round 1” was a reality.
The self-published book focuses on Olivia West, a girl who encounters the struggles of entering middle school. Olivia has to deal with the awkwardness of puberty, parents who don’t want to see their little girl grow up and the effort required to be a part of the popular crowd.
Throughout the story, Olivia struggles with insecurity, something Floyd herself struggled with in middle school.
“I was absolutely insecure at that age. I always, instead of wanting to be the leader, I just wanted to be a part of the group,” said Floyd.
While there are plenty of books out there today that detail the struggles of kids trying to fit in, Floyd says her book is set apart from the others because it focuses on more positive themes. “I don’t think we need to incorporate scarier, dramatic elements in a book such as parents neglecting their children or suicide. Being a kid is scary enough.”
She wants readers to pick up on the underlying message that everyone has embarrassing moments throughout middle school and that in the end “it’s not that important what others think of you, it’s only important what you think of yourself.”’
Will there be a Round 2 for Olivia West? Floyd said she’s already outlined it, but since she’s not fortunate enough to have her 18-month-old nap as much as her first child did, it may be some time before West enters round 2.
Q & A
What are your hobbies?
Running, writing, reading, and playing with my kids.
If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be?
What event in history would you have liked to witness?
The first shuttle launch.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Spring time. I was born on Easter Sunday so I’ve always loved Spring.
Who is your hero and someone that inspires you?
My husband and my parents. They have always looked out for me first. I think it’s admirable to look out for others before yourself.