Author Spotlight


I first met Xene back in 2011 when we were looking for someone to write an article on sexual abuse – this was for our teen magazine GIGI. Looking through the internet I found AT THE ARK, an amazing organisation that helps family who are dealing with this. Fast forward a few year later and Xene is doing so much and is still a great contact. Today you get to met this amazing woman. Xene has a powerful and personal story on how sexual abuse tore through her family. You need to read her story

What inspired you to start writing? 

I have actually been writing for many years – many people have asked me to write my story – which I have started but not quite finished yet. But, what inspired me to write this series was when I went to Fiji to do some mission work with our charity/ministry, we were working in a few schools and I could see so much hurt in these children’s eyes that I was ill-equipped to deal with when my family went through abuse. I returned home with a burning desire to do something to equip children better. I am also a counsellor that specialises in abuse and trauma and I found that a lot of my families said they wished they had discussed abuse especially sexual abuse with their children before anything happened to them. This further cemented the idea. I believed God was telling me to write a children’s book, but I didn’t think I could for a while and procrastinated for months before I gave in and said to God that He had to write it – that evening I wrote the first book in the series in a waiting room at an appointment for my daughter. Another inspiration is that I do not like the stats that surround sexual abuse and I want to change them.

Tell us about your book series – What makes them different from books or series out there?

My book series is called Brave Little Bear. It is a 3-book series that aims to equip families to protect the next generation. The Brave Little Bear series is designed to build a protective cover around a family by equipping children with self-protective behaviours and to give parents peace of mind and an understanding of why self-protective behaviours are so important. Book 1 is for 3-7 year olds and Brave Little Bear writes his story to introduce the subject gently. Book 2 Too Big not to Share: Brave little Bear writes to 6 year olds to preteens about safe touch, fear feelings, online protection, secrets and surprises, body consent etc. In Book 3 Brave Little Bear writes a very brave letter to ‘Safe Adult Bears’ to help them understand why book 1 and 2 are so important and how to help little bears flourish and grow into healthy equipped adults.

Why was it important to get this message out? There are a few reasons why it is important to get this message out;

  1. When we equip our children then we empower children to know what to do and how to look after themselves. Too many children do not know that it is wrong because adults don’t talk about it. The problem is sexual abuse is a tough subject to talk about. More than 1 child in 5 children are sexually abused before they are 18. This means that more 1 in 5 adults have been sexually abused and not many like to talk about it, for many different reasons. One reason why could be fear another could be embarrassment, another may not want people to judge them. These are just a few reasons but, this enables the perpetrator to keep on abusing. I say, ‘Silence is the currency of the offender – we have to speak about it to bankrupt them’. These books helps to break the silence and gets people talking about it.
  2. Another reason why these books are so important is to teach children how to keep safe when their safe people aren’t around to protect them or they themselves don’t see the danger.
  3. And, if something bad has already happened to a child, the pain and the secret they are holding on to is a heavy weight, much to heavy for any child to have to hold on to for themselves – reading these books will give the child confidence to find someone to go to and talk about what has happened. this will not only release the pain but will also help to stop it from happening again.

How long does one book take you to write?

Each book was different the first book I wrote in an hour but needed tweaking so all in all maybe a day but the other books took a month or two and my book about my story has taken years and I still haven’t finished.

What has the response been like for these books?

I have had an incredible response. I have emails from people who said that they wished they’d read it when they were younger and from parents who have said that they didn’t know how to talk about this subject as they didn’t know how and this series has given them the vocabulary to speak to their children with confidence. I have had teachers say that Brave Little Bear has helped them in the classroom and a special needs teacher who couldn’t believe how easy it was to share about abuse with her students. I have had a few people who can’t read it because it was too close to their hurt but on the whole it has been amazing.

What does success mean to you?

Hmmm, that’s quite a hard question, it’s not making a fortune but it is getting my books out there. I have already got to do a reprint of book 1, which is successful but for me I believe if I can protect one child then I have been successful.

Who inspired you to follow your dreams?

My husband and children. I can truly say that without my husband I don’t think I would have had the confidence to do any of this. I want to protect children from being hurt without my children being there for me I wouldn’t have been able to do this.

What advice do you wish you had 5 years ago?

Ignore people who say you can’t and stay alongside people who say you can. Find the friends who will encourage and almost ‘drag’ your passions out of you.

What do you do when you feel uninspired?

To get myself inspired? I often listen to worship music or go for a walk on my own and spend some time giving myself a bit of a ‘talking’ to

What can you not live without?

My bible

Finish this sentence ‘Above all else…’

Seek first the kingdom of God, what He wants for you and His righteousness then… all these things, everything you need, everything you want, everything you desire will be added onto you.

What’s your favourite bible verse?

I have so many… but I think the one I quote the most is Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purposes.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Haha! I have no idea, if you said 5 years ago that I will have written series of books in 5 year’s time I think I would have laughed! So, who knows really? But in my head I would like to have finished my autobiography and travelling promoting all the books

Finish this sentence…’I can’t start my day until….?’

I have spent time with God in my quiet time

How can our lovely mothers contact you? What’s your social media handle and website?

www.attheark.org.au www.facebook.com/bravelittlebear or www.facebook.com/attheark777 or [email protected]

Where can we purchase your books?


Who does your illustrations?

A beautiful lady called Jody McGregor

Any other words you’d like to add?

I think that covers it all!

Thank you Xene for taking the time to do this interview – ladies make sure you check her out and see her beautiful heart and love for this mission.



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