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“At the end of the day, as Isabel stepped through the large glass doors of her law office, a strange thing happened. Outside in the cold, she suddenly felt trapped in a bright cone of light. As if some alien spaceship were training its eye on her. Uneasily, she gazed into the dark November sky. There was the culprit. A smiling gibbous moon. Or was it smirking, maybe even mocking her?” Shelf Unbound: What interested you in writing a story about cyberbullying? Herta Feely: On January 10, 2008, I read a feature article in the Washington Post about a 13-year-old girl who was cyberbullied (on MySpace) and then committed suicide. Her name was Megan Meier. The boy who appeared to be leading the cyberbullying was 16-year-old Josh Evans, who Megan had a crush on but had never met. It turned out, though, that Josh Evans was actually a 47-year-old woman, named Lori Drew,

who also was Megan’s neighbor and the mother of one of Megan’s friends, though they’d had a falling out. I simply couldn’t believe a woman—a mother at that—could be so cruel to a young, vulnerable girl. I was also intrigued by social media as the forum for such bullying, and decided I wanted to write a story exploring this new Internet era and how a woman, a mother no less, could do such a thing. I should add here that my novel bears very little resemblance to the Megan Meier story, though it was inspired by that event.



Shelf Unbound August-September 2017  
Shelf Unbound August-September 2017  

Special 7th Anniversary Issue