A Summit author is planning fundraising to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. And that’s just to start.
Vanessa Stephens has formed a nonprofit called Our Little Guardian Angels and will host her first fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 at the former Rocking Willy’s in Fernwood.
The event, billed as a “day of family fun,” will feature hot dogs, nachos and other food and drink as well as games for the kids. Admission is $ 5 for children 12 and over, free for children under 12. All proceeds will go to both hospitals.
“It’s going to be mostly kid-centered,” Stephens said. “It’s the beginning.”
Stephens is the author of three books: “The Naughty Neighbor,” an erotic novel co-written with his mother, Flora Douglas of Louisiana; “Emily and the Magic Ferret,” a book for children ages 8 to 12; and “The Evil Inside”, which she describes as “a family drama thriller.”
A trio of books
Stephens, 43, grew up in Louisiana around Covington, Mandeville and Madisonville, with frequent trips to Summit, where she moved at age 17. She loved to write as a teenager, so when her mother offered to co-write a novel, Stephens agreed.
“My editor said it was like ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ and ‘Sex in the City’,” Stephens said, noting that it is also “a difficult abuse story.”
Then her niece, Emily Polk, now 13, of Columbia, asked her to write a children’s book. So Stephens wrote a story about a girl who gets a ferret for her 11th birthday, only to find out the animal had magical powers.
“She took Emily on a magical trip to the Magical Forest,” Stephens said.
Next comes an adult novel, “The Evil Inside”, which deals with physical and sexual abuse. “It’s a tough read,” but “something that needs to be said,” Stephens said.
The plot involves a girl who is abused by her mother’s boyfriend from the age of 7.
“He’s starting to mistreat her, little things here and there. She’s fucked up mentally, ”Stephens said.
The young girl is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, institutionalized and attempts to commit suicide.
“All she wants is to find happiness,” Stephens said.
The books are published by Kingston Publishing.
Little Guardian Angels
Stephens formed Our Little Guardian Angels after speaking with his uncle, Sam Robertson of McComb, who came up with the name.
Stephens’ best friend, McComb’s Vickielynn Drury, is vice president and her daughter, Jamie Norris, does a lot of volunteer work.
Stephens’ plan is to raise money for a multitude of causes, starting with children’s hospitals. Another fundraiser for children’s hospitals is scheduled for May 28 at the Biere Bar in Marrero, Louisiana, in memory of Kaley Beth Wilkerson, who died of brain cancer at the age of 8. Kaley was the daughter of Josh and Jessica Wilkerson of Bogue Chitto.
Stephens has already raised $ 400 through donations and a recent car wash.
“It all depends on donations. I don’t keep any of it. Everything that comes in goes for the cause, ”she said. “And if anyone would like to volunteer their time, they can contact me.”
Stephens also has a heart for abused animals and hopes to get involved in helping them as well.
“It breaks my heart when I’m riding down the road and see a poor helpless cat or dog trying to fend for itself,” Stephens said.
For more information, visit the Our Little Guardian Angels and Vanessa Stephens Author Facebook pages.