Queen Creek author Michelle Shreeve helps grieving children with her writing

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Her writing centers on an unimaginable loss from her childhood and her books aim to guide children in similar situations today.

Queen Creek resident Michelle Shreeve recently released her second book in mid-July and she hopes it will impact the lives of young adults across the country.

Shreeve grew up in the Ahwatukee area of ​​Phoenix and attended Mountain Pointe High School, graduating in 2003, before earning two undergraduate degrees in psychology and two graduate degrees in English. and in creative writing. Her writing centers on an unimaginable loss from her childhood and her books aim to guide children in similar situations today.

“When I was 9, my mother passed away. There weren’t a lot of helpful resources for learning how to deal with the death of your parents in the 90s, so I think I started writing like way of coping as I was trying to come to terms with my mother’s death at such a young age,” she said.

Shreeve wrote for most of her life, being published locally and nationally in newspapers and magazines, along with her two books. In high school, she submitted an advice column to her local community newspaper and they not only accepted her, but she continued to write the column for the next eight years.

“Ever since I was a kid, I knew I always wanted to write books. I always wanted to be a children’s author,” Shreeve said. “I always want to write children’s books, but the death of my mother changed my writing path slightly. I write to try to help children, teens and young adults with self-help books, but one day I hope to write books that will entertain children, teenagers and young adults and make them want to read.

Her first book was called “Parental Death: The Ultimate Teen Guide” and she wrote it while simultaneously working on her two master’s degrees. Publishing company Rowman & Littlefield was working on a series of books called It Happened To Me, aimed at helping teenagers and young adults deal with various issues and Shreeve introduced the topic of parental death to a publisher who loved. In 2018, his first book was published.

“My first book was a stressful process because I was a first-time author navigating uncharted waters and I probably had too much to do. However, I couldn’t control the timing exactly, so I took everything done at the same time,” Shreeve said. “I then wanted to write fiction books about parental death, but I never realized that a second non-fiction book about parental death was coming up again. It kind of happened, and it happened so fast, and then suddenly I pulled out two books. I always want to focus on fiction next, because I have written several fictional stories featuring characters who have lost a parent as well that I would like to share and publish to help young people.

Shreeve’s second book, “Coping with Parental Death: Insights and Tips for Teenagers,” was released by the same publisher on July 13. This book was part of the publisher’s Empowering You series that helps young adults deal with issues they may be facing. Shreeve said that after nearly 30 years of research, she was left with so much information and advice that she couldn’t fit it all into one book, which is still the case after the second book.

“The first book started a much-needed conversation, while that conversation continued with this second book…These books were needed long before my mother passed away in 1993,” Shreve said. “There aren’t many books on parental death, and if there are, they’re mostly written about people who lost their parent in their late twenties or later. If you do a search , there (are) not many non-fiction books that deal with the loss of one or both of your parents by the time you reach the age of 20. It is necessary to have more parenting resources on death to meet the needs of grieving children, teens and young adults, so I tried to fill that gap.

In her second book, Shreeve shares positive coping methods for teens, talks about the importance of seeking advice, and includes resources and examples from amazing and impactful people around the world who have lost a parent young, like Mother. Teresa and Nelson Mandela.

The process of writing this second book was different for Shreeve as she was a new, first-time mom.

“The biggest challenge I had for this second book is the emotional personal struggle of being aware that I lost my mother young and now I have a little one and am myself a mother writing about the loss of a mother,” she said.

Shreeve hopes the books reach grieving young people and families, and while she can’t see the exact results, she hopes she’s planted many seeds.

“…I just hope it reaches at least one child, teenager or young adult and helps them not feel alone as they grieve the death of their parent. I hope my advice in the book and the experiences of other teens can help guide young people through their own loss, and I also hope it can help families who are grieving the death of a parent stay close together. , instead of death tearing them apart,” Shreeve said.

“Coping with Parental Death: Insights and Tips for Teenagers” is available on Amazon, the Barnes & Noble and Rowman & Littlefield website, and various public and school libraries across the country. It is also available in physical and independent online bookstores.

Rowman & Littlefield’s Empowering You series also includes books dealing with stress, volunteering, grief, friendship, having a loved one with dementia and depression.

A link to the book on Amazon can be found HERE.

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