Foster Youth Turned Author to Host Book Signing Feb. 12 in Downtown Melbourne

Joyner Chronicles Life in Foster Care, Desire to Rise Above Abuse and Neglect in “Little Wild Thang”

MELBOURNE, FL – January 12, 2016 – Lydia Joyner spent much of her childhood and teenage years suffering abuse and neglect, and most of her young life in Brevard County’s foster care system as she tried to reunite with a mother she loved but who suffered from severe mental illness and eventually committed suicide. She has written about those early-life experiences in her new book, “Little Wild Thang – Part I.” Joyner will celebrate its release during a meet and greet and book signing on Friday, February 12, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The Chandlery - 806 E New Haven Ave., in Melbourne.

Tracing her early years living with a mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and her first placement in a foster home at the age of seven, Joyner shares in diary format the raw details of what she experienced in daily life, including bullying, addiction and poverty, along with physical, mental and sexual abuse. She shares how she longed to be reunited with her mother and how she was determined not to be judged by her family history and circumstances, but by who she was as an individual and the hopes and dreams she held close. She’s also included excerpts from files that filled six banker’s boxes, documenting her time in care by social service providers while being shuffled through several foster homes. 

The book has been one of those dreams Joyner held close. “I want to tell my story, not because it only happened to me - there are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care as a result of abuse or neglect - but because I want others, especially foster youth, to see that you are not defined by your heritage or surroundings but what is in your heart and what you desire,” Joyner said. “I’ve relived what happened in my head thousands of times and was finally able to bring all the experiences to life through ‘Little Wild Thang.’ As a child, things happened to me that I would never wish on another but I never gave up on my dreams and today I’m living them. Never give up. Never give in!”

Those dreams of success have led Joyner to become a nationally in-demand keynote speaker, guest lecturer and consultant. She has addressed the United Nations in New York and worked with Columbia University to create, “My Sky Is Falling!” an exercise that shows participants what life is like as a foster youth. She’s also been a guest speaker at several state human service conferences and been interviewed on dozens of TV and radio shows.

Along with her book signing, Joyner is in Brevard to be the keynote speaker at Brevard Family Partnership’s third annual Trauma Informed Care Summit on Feb. 12 at Heritage Isles, in Viera. The event draws over 200 human and social service professionals from across the Central Florida region to learn about the latest developments in caring for youth who have experienced abuse and neglect. 

In conjunction with the summit, Joyner will host a Youth Café on Feb. 11 where she will welcome several teens in Brevard’s foster care system to share their experiences and learn how they, too, can live their dreams.

For a preview of “Little Wild Thang” and purchase information, please visit To schedule a media interview or for further information, please email

*Special Thanks to Geo Ropert at: for press release*


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