Stark was a teacher at Indianapolis Public Schools for nine years after graduating from Indiana University with a degree in elementary education. She is now a stay-at-home mom with her five children, ranging from ages 2-16, while also being a freelance writer.
"I started writing about eight years ago now," Stark said. "I started because although I loved teaching, I longed to stay at home with my children. Now I am able to do that and still provide some income for my family."
Stark has had stories featured in 17 different Chicken Soup books.
"I have been in books for moms, teachers, cooks, runners, Christians and cat lovers," Stark said. "Each story represents another small part of who I am."
In this specific book, Stark's story, "The Lucky One" is a true story about an experience she had in high school. One day, after bumping into a girl from school who was a popular cheerleader, Stark began to make a new friend with someone she had always been envious of.
"She met my family and for some reason, she wanted to hang out with them," Stark said. "As we became closer friends, she confided that her home life was really rough and nothing like my happy family. It made me realize that although she was a cheerleader and seemed to have everything going for her, I was still the lucky one."
Stark said she had always been grateful for her family, but that experience made her truly appreciate them even more.
Stark said she enjoys writing because it is the one thing she can do for herself. As a mom, she spends a lot of time taking care of her children and home, but when she writes she is doing something just for herself.
"I'm a really outgoing person, and I love to be around others most of the time," she said. "But I also love being left alone with just my computer and my imagination. Writing is like my down time."
Stark said her favorite things to write about are her family and her faith.
"Most of my stories are about being grateful for the simple things in life, and 'The Lucky One' is no different," she said. "The book is geared toward teens and at that age, it's easy to become annoyed with your family. I hope readers would see that their parents love them and want what is best for them and if they come from a loving family, they should count themselves as lucky too."
In the last 15 years, "Chicken Soup for the Soul" has sold more than 17 million copies of its books for teenagers.
"Kids prefer receiving advice from other kids, and that is the beauty of this new book, updated for today's special teen issues with all new stories, offering teenagers credible and responsible advice from their peers," said a press release for the new book.
"Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Teenagers" was released on July 26, 2011. It can be found at Walmart, amazon.com or other bookstores.