Little Egg Harbor Man Writes Books for Children and More

Oct 03, 2018
Photo by: Pat Johnson Casey Bell of Little Egg harbor with some of the books he has self-published.

Little Egg Harbor author Casey Bell started writing stories in 2002, when he was 20 years old and deciding between continuing with his stage career or focusing on his writing. “I always wrote, even when I was a child, so it came to me that maybe that was what I should be doing,” he said.

He attended a self-publishing workshop at his church, the Word Up Ministries in Old Bridge, and decided his first book would be a book every young person like himself would need on graduating high school: To College or Not to College, a play on Shakespeare’s quote “To be or not to be.” This short book is packed with information. “At 18, you don’t know what you really want,” said Bell. “When I went to Kean University, I wanted to be a Broadway actor.”

The book is divided into three sections .“To College” tells who needs to go to college and how to save money; the second section, “Not to College,” gives options of becoming educated without college; the last section is the author’s conclusions.

In “To College,” Bell notes there are some professions that require degrees, most in the health or education fields. Then he suggests parents and students start early to find financing, through either special savings accounts or scholarships and grants. Did you know that there are such things as work colleges? He gives handy websites for readers to do their own research.

And he suggests that no one start college if they have no clue as what to major in, because of the expense. Volunteerism is a great way to expand your world and learn people skills.

He has many suggestions for those who decide to go to college, such as making sure you pass a class because you have to pay for it again if you have to retake it. He suggests getting Internships over the summers to make contacts and to gain references and experience. “Take an internship outside your major, it very well could lead you to a love/passion you didn’t know you had.”

In his section “Not to College,” he writes, “Education is not expensive; college is expensive but only one type of education, not the only one.”

Trade schools are cool because they offer focused training in a shorter period of time and often lead to well-paying jobs at the end.

The military is another option, although Bell is against this for his own reasons.

There are companies that offer apprenticeships, and he lists those. “I think the best thing for young people is to mirror or follow a professional, just for a day to see what it’s really like. The way it used to be, an apprentice would sit and learn from the master.”

Bell suggests traveling after high school to expand a person’s options. “I do not believe anyone should go to college after high school,” he writes. “Science tells us our brains are not fully functioning until we hit the age of 21. So then why are we asking our children to make an important life decision at the age of 18?”

The book can also be useful for parents, as in the chapter “Raise Up Your Children.” Bell said he was appalled when he went to college and found some of his classmates were clueless on how to take care of their domestic chores. “There’s no maids in college,” he said. “I learned how to do laundry when I was 12 and how to cook simple meals.”

His favorite chapter is “Be your own Boss.” Entrepreneurs are a special breed, and many have made a good livelihood by creating and promoting a special product, filling a need or going their own way.

His final thoughts are on what makes a successful person – and it’s not loads of money. “Successful people are solving problems. Helping people and being selfless. … Fix things that are broken, whether it’s hearts or televisions. Be the one who makes the world, or your country, state or city a better place to live.”

After writing and publishing this informative book, Bell turned to finishing a fictional book he had struggled with for a number of years. “I got the idea from watching a Lifetime movie,” he said.

The book A Family of Strangers is, as the cover blurb says, about how forgiveness created a family. “I knew how I wanted it to end, and I started there and then figured out how to get there.”

It’s an adult-themed book, but written in a respectful way, about a woman who has a child from a rape. Her husband has the baby put in foster care, and wild circumstances end in a tale about the power of forgiveness.

Bell has written seven other books for adults or young adults, including one about sexism that is part fantastic voyage: A privileged white male learns what it is like to live in other’s shoes through a wishing bottle.

His three children’s books also have messages for all of us.

The Day the Rainbow Broke Up is based on a play Bell wrote when he attended Kean College for the Strollers Theatre Co.in Maplewood. The impetus for the book was the news items he saw every day on the internet.

“There is always something racist going on,” he said. “I wanted to write about the rainbow and how one day the colors decide that each is better than the other and they couldn’t get along.” The end result is The Day the Rainbow Broke Up.

“It took me one day to do the outline and two days to write it,” said Bell. His idea was that each color tries to be a rainbow by itself, but creatures in nature explain to the colors that even though they are all different, the rainbow looks best when they are all together. The first part of the book has the colors talking to each other, and each color’s letters are in that color; red talks in red typeface etc. Children would like this as a learning tool of their colors. Bell is a graphic artist as well as a writer ,and he took that into account when he designed his self-published book in full color. His two other children’s books, You Are Beautiful (also in Spanish) and How to Love Your Bully, are also self–published.

Bell has so many ideas, but one driving force – to be a successful person as defined in his first book: to help others and make the world a better place to live in.

To find out more about Casey Bell and to purchase his books, go to authorcaseybell.com.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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