Aulander author Sylvia Walton (S. Y. Walton) topped the Amazon best-seller list in the young adult fiction category in September for her new release, Hello Freshman Year. On September 20th, 2021, Walton received a big surprise. Her latest novel trended in the #1 New Release spot in its category.
Since holding that spot for the week of September 20th, the book has continued to enjoy tremendous success on the giant website, much to Walton’s delight.
Walton, a school social worker at West Bertie Elementary and Aulander Elementary, loves working with children and the public. Despite this successful and rewarding career, she also feels called to write.
This novel is the second book released by the Aulander author. While its goal is to help young teens through their typical transitions and struggles, Walton notes that many age groups read her works. Children as young as the fourth grade often approach her and comment on how helpful the stories are for them. On the other hand, adults also say that they love her stories and wish they had access to them when they were children.
The Two Books by the Local Aulander Author, S. Y. Walton
Bertie News interviewed S. Y. Walton to learn more about her writing process and the books. She explained that working in the mental health industry opens the eyes to life’s realities. Too often, she explains, children suffer in silence and grow up to live with the shame and negative feelings that stem from bullying and complex family relationships. Walton addresses these issues in these novels.
Walton published her first release, One Voice, in 2018. The storyline deals with eighth-graders and bullying–with an unexpected twist. Walton tells not only about the mistreated child, but she also tells the story of the bully.
By examining the causes of bullying from the bully’s perspective, she gives teenagers a glimpse at what makes someone engage in this damaging behavior. Only by understanding the trauma that causes one child to harm another can one break out of this behavior.
In fact, Walton’s holistic look at bullying also looks at the family dynamics behind the scene, painting a picture of a family in need of healing.
Hello Freshman Year
In S. Y. Walton’s second book, Hello Freshman Year, the cast of characters from One Voice promotes to ninth grade–high school!
In addition to starting high school, the main character must cope with an unforeseen event. After being raised by her grandmother, who is suffering from health issues, the character’s estranged mother has given up on pursuing her dreams of fame and fortune to come home and reunite with her daughter.
As in her previous novel, Walton digs deep behind the scenes, deconstructing a complicated dynamic. Of course, she presents this in a way that teens will relate to and understand.
What’s Next for S Y Walton?
S. Y. Walton enjoys her current success, but that does not mean she does not have more stories to share. Besides writing children’s books, she is a poet, affirmation writer, and playwright.
As far as the teen series, Walton has a third novel marinating in her mind, as she thinks the characters belong in a trilogy. Regardless of what direction she goes, one thing is clear. She will still continue to write.
Walton shared a story about a child asking her recently why she pens books in addition to working for the public schools. Her response:
The author explained in her interview that the students she met along the way inspired the teen book series. She works with kids who have challenging family dynamics, so she hopes her novels will help them develop healthy coping skills as they mature.
Also under consideration for Walton are both a program for children and a novel for adult readers.
Finally, Walton started an outreach to readers to help put her books into the hands of students who cannot afford them. When someone purchases a copy, she invites them to buy an additional gift copy for a student in need. Once she has enough gifted copies, she will give them to a deserving classroom of children to do a book study.
To learn more about S. Y. Walton, visit her website and join the mailing list–she will keep in touch about her latest projects and upcoming book signings.