AwareNow: Issue 20: The Kind Edition

Page 83



FE AT URI NG BES T-S EL L IN G A U THO R WES L EY KI N G Season 8 premieres with Wesley King, co-author of the best-selling book series The Wizenard Series, along with ten other novels, who works to promote literacy for young people by writing stories that are truly relatable to a middle grade audience.

King, who collaborated with the late Kobe Bryant, discusses the process of working on The Wizenard Series, which consists of several books that tackle the psychological challenges young athletes deal with on a daily basis (6:50). As someone who struggled with OCD and anxiety himself when he was younger and continues to do so today, King discusses his coming of age (17:07) and how he thinks we can better understand and support people that are struggling with mental health (22:27). Since the pandemic started, King has been working to craft a story with author, Chandler Baker, called Hello (from here), which comes out this September, about the obstacles and difficulties growing up during the pandemic (31:57). While King has already had so much success as an author, he is beginning a new project about celebrating neurodiversity by focusing on a character who is autistic, a story based-off of his brother who is on the spectrum (47:08). ∎

For more information on UNSUGARCOATED Media or your award-winning host, go to and stay connected with Aalia on IG: @aalia_unsugarcoated and on Clubhouse @aalia_lanius


Novelist, Speaker, Podcast Host & Social Entrepreneur Aalia Lanius is the Founder and President of Unsugarcoated Media, a 501(c)(3) media organization. Dedicated to helping survivors of trauma lead mentally healthier lives, Lanius' focus is creating media and events that empower, educate, heal, and inspire another the way it has for her. Lanius is also a multiple award-winning American novelist, social entrepreneur, and advocate with over 20 years of sharing her personal experiences with audiences of all age groups and diverse backgrounds. Executive Producer and host of the awardnominated seasonal podcast show, “Unsugarcoated with Aalia”, a visual and audio experience that features conversations intended to bring value and amplify voices that create more empathy and understanding of one another.