A CHILDREN’S author whose novel has been incorporated into the teaching plans of schools across Woking has released an anti-bullying pop song – with help from a world-famous record producer.
Lynda Berger, author of critically acclaimed YA novel Demons and Thieves, says she was motivated to write Take a Look at Yourself after witnessing the impact of bullying on her daughter Catherine and her school friends.
The writer, who was also bullied while growing up, claims that on one occasion the bullying was so severe that she had to accompany one of her daughter’s friends to hospital.
But now Lynda, 48, has finally dealt the bullies a bum note after teaming up with legendary producer Rob Cass to compose a pop song aimed at helping young people find the inner strength to rise above the bullies and pursue their ambitions.
Cass – who is based at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, famed worldwide for its association with bands including The Beatles – heard a demo recording of Lynda’s song and offered to produce it “there and then”.
The single, featuring vocals by rising star Emily Burns, hits the digital download shelves this week. It is being released to mark Anti-Bullying Week, which takes place between November 17 and November 21.
Lynda said: “Having to watch my daughter and other children go through the same experiences with bullies as I had, was heart-wrenching. The bullying became so bad for one of my daughter’s friends that she suffered a broken nose and ribs in a vicious attack.
“I accompanied her to hospital but the feeling of being powerless to help was sickening. I decided to write an anti-bullying song that would offer hope and support to all young victims and was put in touch with Rob Cass of Abbey Road Studios through an associate of mine.
I passed him a demo of my song – not really believing it would go anywhere given his fame – but he loved it and was only too willing to offer his highly sought-after time and resources at no cost, all in the name of an important cause.”
Lynda, who won a place at the Royal College of Music at the age of 11 and went on to release an album with new wave band The Books in the 1980s, approached Cass with Take a Look at Yourself in 2013 and was stunned when the famed producer snapped it up “on the spot”.
Cass, who usually works with the likes of Robbie Williams, Estelle and Will Young, said: “I loved Lynda’s song and as soon as I heard it I could see its potential for helping to inspire young teenagers to overcome everyday battles they are facing.
“It has been a great pleasure bringing the song, which I worked on with fellow producer Pearse MacIntyre and talented singer Emily Burns, into production and hope that it will become a beacon of hope for a better future to all victims of bullying.”
The track is being released during Anti-Bullying Week together with Berger’s YA novel, Demons and Thieves – a ‘gripping’ fantasy-adventure which contains underlying messages about how to deal with common teenage issues including bullying.
The novel, part one of the Seven Keys trilogy and aimed at readers aged 10 to 14, has already had a limited release across Surrey with the title being incorporated into the reading programmes of eight schools in the region including The Winston Churchill School and Bishop David Brown School in Woking.