Paxton author to hold book-signing event on Sept. 15

PAXTON — “Sometimes outward appearances can be most deceiving.”

This quote is one of the underlining themes of author Tabitha Eichelberger’s new book, “Diary of a Lonely Prom Queen (Reflections on Parenting Teenage Girls from a Teenage Survivor).”

Eichelberger, a Paxton native and current resident, began work on her book more than six years ago.

“This book has been a passion of mine for the past six years,” said Eichelberger, who will hold a book-signing event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 15, at Hudson Drug & Hallmark Shop, 108 N. Market St., Paxton.

“I wanted to share my junior/high school experience and struggles with others in the hopes of helping parents better understand some of the struggles and trials their teen may be going through,” she said about the book. “I also hope by sharing my story it can give parents some direction on ways to support and encourage their child.  

Along with her personal story, Eichelberger’s mother, Wendy, has contributed significantly to the book, offering up her advice to parents and explaining some of the ways she was able to help her daughter cope with many of the issues she faced.

The book also shares advice and input from several generations of women Eichelberger interviewed in order to gain an even better understanding and perspective of the struggles teenage girls face and ways that parents have helped their children, both past and present.

Teens were also interviewed and asked questions about in what ways they felt parents could support their child most effectively.

“I wanted to get all kinds of perspectives and insight from as many women as I could,” Eichelberger said. “Everyone has a story to tell, so I interviewed what I consider some super awesome mamas who have either raised daughters in the past or are currently raising daughters now. I wanted to see what has worked for them, what hasn’t, and what they felt was important to share with readers.

“I also privileged enough to speak with some pretty awesome kids who were incredibly open and honest with me about the struggles they face on a day-to-day basis and how they felt their parents could best encourage and support them. It was very eye-opening and a great learning experience for me as I listened to what these incredible women had to share.”

Eichelberger said she had what seemed to most as the perfect high school experience. She was a cheerleader, prom queen and homecoming queen, and she was involved with the school’s chorus, mentoring program and more.

However, on the inside, she said, it was a different story.

“I would cry almost daily,” she said. “I never felt accepted by girls. I consistently felt like an outsider and that no matter what I did I could never fit in. It was an awful feeling, but looking back now I realize that many of the girls I thought ‘had it all’ were struggling with the same feelings I was. It just goes to show you that sometimes outward appearances really are most deceiving. No one has the perfect life. We all have our issues.”

Thankfully for Eichelberger, she had a great support system at home.

“I had and still do have an amazing family who has consistently been there to support me through all my ups and downs, as well as a small group of mentors and friends who prayed faithfully for me each day,” she said. “This is what really got me through.”

As the book comes out later this week, Eichelberger said she hopes to be able to use her story to help others and hopefully give support to those in need.

During the Sept. 15 book-signing event — to be held during the seventh annual Paxton Swine ‘N Dine BBQ Contest & Festival in downtown Paxton — readers can purchase a copy of the book.

Readers can also purchase the book starting Sept. 15 at Hudson Drug & Hallmark Shop, Leading Edge Salon in Paxton and The Gathering in Gilman. It is also available in paperback and in a Kindle edition on Amazon.com.

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County

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