How to Create a MORE Likeable Character


How to Create a MORE Likeable Character


Who wants to create a MORE likeable character? A likeable character your reader cares deeply about?

A likeable character who’ll keep your reader turning pages to find out what happens to him.

Q: Does your main character come across as cocky, aloof, or just plain boring?

A:  Don’t worry. You can inject a HUGE amount of like-ability into your character,  connecting your character with your reader  … I did.

How did I make a MORE Likeable Character?

For my mid-grade novel, STOP the Bully I amped the likeability of my main character Brian Bennett to the MAX in the very first scene. How? New kid Brian Bennett saved Amelia from the bully sitting right behind her. Brian dived for Amelia as her chair tilted backwards, triggering a chain of humorous events.

Kids love a hero AND they love humor!


How to Create a MORE Likeable Character

Get your character to SAVE the cat …  SAVE their sister … SAVE someone in the first scene of your book. Every reader LOVES a hero character.

Make the reader chuckle with your character on the very first page, scene or chapter. Humor strengthens your storyline, making your character irresistible.

What are my credentials?

My name is Karen Tyrrell. I present writing talks  for Queensland Writers Centre,  Write & Publish a Children’s Novel Masterclass and Book Marketing Masterclass PLUS at conferences, festivals, libraries and schools.  I’ve published four books, winning three grants, two awards and a mentorship with the Society of Editors.

How did I transform Brian Bennett into the most LOVE-able character he could be?

How to Create a MORE Likeable Character

1.Identify with the Reader: Introduce him on page one via his thoughts, dialogue and actions so the reader can relate to him instantly. The reader must know the hero’s goals and motivations straight away.

2. Empathize: Allow the reader to empathize and sympathize with the character, really care about him. He could be an underdog with some endearing flaws or a reluctant hero.

3. Humor: Let the main character deliver humour on the very first page, to win the reader over. A character that makes us grin is a character we’ll LOVE to the end.

4. Action: Heroes are characterized by action. The hero actually does things. He or she doesn’t sit around watching things happen, or wait for situations to resolve themselves

5. Integrity: A likeable character represents the values of the community. They defy evil and save the world. They stick up for geeks, and believe in fair play. They hate bullies.

6. Selflessness: We love characters who go out of their way to protect others: a friend, a family member, and the WORLD.

7. Loved by Others: Give your hero a sidekick and a team. If someone is loved by someone else, it proves the character as someone worthy of love, worthy of reading their story.

8. Compassion: Your main character must show an inspiring kindness and desire to uplift and help others. That compassion is the driving force for the story arc.

9. Bravery: Even when scared and nervous, the hero puts his life on the line again and again. He puts others before himself.

10. Determination: Your main character must never give up, no matter how many brick walls challenges he encounters. Remember he’s the hero even if he fails; he picks himself up and tries again.


How to Create a MORE Likeable Character


Brian Bennett was  a flawed character (revealed later in a “Twist”) so I had to work EXTRA hard to entice the reader like him …I’m proud to say, Brian Bennett from STOP the Bully now ticks all those likeable character boxes, scoring 10 out of 10.


A NEW review for STOP the Bully has arrived from teacher, Dr Cherrye S. Vasquez, Ph.D.

 “STOP the Bully” takes the reader full circle concerning the complexities of bullying behaviours.  … Gives students and teachers a vision of hope and progress to end bullying in our schools nationwide.”

Read the FULL Review of STOP the Bully on Amazon HERE

perf5.000x8.000.inddRead the first 10 pages STOP the Bully by clicking onto the cover at Amazon HERE

I’m glad I made those positive changes, so important in fiction.

Check your Main Character traits against my Likeable Character checklist above…

How did your character score?

How are you going to create a more likeable character?

Which tips resonated with you?

Please leave your comment below: Like, Tweet and Google Plus.

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How to Achieve Work Life Balance

Achieve Work Life Balance

Achieve Work Life Balance

Coming home exhausted? Over worked? Stressed to the hilt?

But still striving to achieve Work Life Balance?

Read my article The Work Life Balance published in South City Bulletin magazine April edition. I’ll show you 10 keys to boost your happiness levels and manage the demands of life.

I’m a survivor of bullying and mental illness, resilience author of Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness and Me & Him: a Guide to Recovery and books for children, Bailey Beats the Blah and STOP the Bully.

Karen Tyrrell Resilience author

Karen Tyrrell Resilience author

I seek empowering ways to shake off pressure and manage stress before it starts. For me, it’s about incorporating pro-active healthy habits to increase my happiness, while nurturing my body, mind and spirit.

Here’s 10 scientifically-backed ways to boost your happiness levels and create work-life balance.

#5  ways to achieve Work Life Balance

1. Get outside! A daily dose of nature increases your sense of wellbeing, vitality and energy while reducing feelings of stress, negativity, and sleep problems. Play with your pet, water your garden, breathe in the fresh air and sunshine. Spending time in nature makes you feel more productive on the job, whatever it may be!

2. Do something FUN every day, something you really enjoy. Laugh, sing, smile, do a little dance, tell a joke. Remember grinners are winners!

3.Perform an act of kindness. Showing Kindness to others makes you feel amazing too; improving your wellbeing by generating positive thoughts and nurturing meaningful interactions with those you care about.

4. Take time out to relax with a little ME time. Give yourself permission to nurture your body mind and spirit. Sip coffee with a friend. Take a soothing, fragrant bath. Have a relaxing massage.

5. Sleep better. Good sleep improves your ability to cope, make decisions, lift your mood and improve concentration, memory and brain performance. To improve your sleep: try meditation, a warm bath and turning off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime.

Live, work and play happier and healthier!

Read all 10 TIPS and my FULL magazine article HERE

Check out articles by Wendy Millgate, Amanda Sheehan, Dawn Alice, Wayne Budge & MORE

Achieve Work Life Balance

Achieve Work Life Balance

*Related Posts

Raising Resilient Kids

Book Marketing Masterclass (held at South City Bulletin office)


 How do you achieve work life balance?

Which wellness tips resonated with you?

Please LIKE: share on Facebook, twitter and google+

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Karen Tyrrell at Angus & Robertson Capalaba

Karen Tyrrell @ Angus & Robertson

Karen Tyrrell at Angus & Robertson

I’m signing copies of my resilience books at Angus & Robertson Capalaba Park Shopping Centre.

I’m SO excited as this is my very FIRST book signing event for Angus & Robertson. MORE book shop signings COMING soon

My award winning books: Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness … Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery…  STOP the Bully and Bailey Beats the Blah are now stocked at Angus & Robertson Capalaba Park Shopping Centre…

4 booksMe and Her: A Memoir of Madness

A Bullied teacher reaches breaking point and turns MAD. Police incarcerate her into the frightening psychiatric system. ME: Teacher, Mum, Writer HER: Manic, psychic, healer to the living, telepathic to the dead … and very psychotic.

Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery

Husband and carer HIM: reveals the truth behind Me & Her. Plus my tips on recovering from insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression PTSD and MORE.

Bailey Beats the Blah

Bailey hates his new school and has no friends. How does he beat the Blah? Coping skills for anxiety and depression.

STOP the Bully

How does NEW Kid Brian Bennett STOP the Bully? And reveal his secret? … Bully prevention skills inter-woven into a humorous, mystery story.

How did I get my books into Angus & Robertson + Dymocks STORES?

Come to my Book Marketing Master Class HERE

COME to my Book Signing

WHERE: Angus & Robertson Capalaba Park Shopping Centre

Shop 96, 88 Mt Cotton Rd, Capalaba Ph 07 3823 3746

WHEN: Saturday April 18th   11-1pm

Angus & Robertson, Capalaba

Angus & Robertson, Capalaba

Love to see you there.

More of my events HERE … List of my Book shops HERE


Please tell your friends

Are you coming along to join the FUN?

Please support me: Comment, SHARE: Like, tweet and Google +

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Book Marketing Masterclass

Market Sell & Distribute your BookWant to OPTIMIZE your book marketing plan, book sales and world-wide distribution?

Join author teacher Karen Tyrrell as I share my secrets and guide you every step of the way. I’ll teach you how to market, sell & distribute your book to the widest possible audience with a pro-active marketing plan.

Karen Tyrrell at Dymocks hiolding STOP the Bully & Bailey Beats the Blah

Karen Tyrrell at Dymocks

Topics include how to optimize your book marketing, your author platform, your website SEO, social media influence, book reviews, blog tours, media releases, book sales and book distribution.

What are my Credentials  for presenting a  Book Marketing Masterclass?

Karen Tyrrell is a Brisbane triple award winning author and publisher of five books, teacher, writing tutor, and workshop presenter. Currently Karen’s books are available world-wide and sold at Dymocks and Angus & Robertson book shops and many More …PLUS international online book shops. Book shops HERE.

STOP The Bully, Bailey Beats the Blah, ME & HER: A Memoir of  Madness. Me & Him: A Guide to Recovery

STOP The Bully, Bailey Beats the Blah, ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness. Me & Him: A Guide to Recovery

Karen presented writing talks at Queensland Writers Centre, CYA children’s Writer Conference, Gold Coast Writers Festival, River City Writers Conference, schools, libraries and festivals. She speaks on TV and radio and writes for South City Bulletin magazine.

Karen won three grants, two awards, a mentorship with Society of Editors Qld PLUS hundreds of *5 STAR reviews.  About Karen  HERE


‘Excellent presentation! Very informative and highly credible – you were obviously speaking from experience. Thank you for not only encouraging your fellow writers but giving great practical and realistic advice as to what steps are required to get published. If I was you, I’d now add ‘Writing Coach’ to your title” — Wendy Millgate: Editor South City Bulletin

‘Vast knowledge and experience were invaluable…Workshop so enjoyable and motivating.’ – Lyndal Clark: Writer

‘Lively and entertaining and holds the interest of the audience.’ – Dr Judith O’Malley Ford,

‘Engaging and informative … Speak from sound industry knowledge … Delightful flow, warmth and genuine ‘care’ for the writer and enthusiasm for the craft. I would highly recommend attending these workshops for the emerging and seasoned writers.’ – Noeleen Bowen: Teacher/Writer

Book Marketing Masterclass

WHEN: Saturday 23rd May 9am to 12pm

WHERE: South City Bulletin Office, Shop 6, 3-15 Dennis Rd, Springwood

COST: $49 includes a yummy morning tea, nibbles, coffee and tea provided and a FREE interactive book marketing information booklet.

BOOK EARLY: Tickets limited to 20 attendees only … and GOING FAST

HALF day Master class ONLY $49

To book your ticket, Please click  go to Book Marketing PAGE

Scroll down the page. Find the Pay Pal BUTTON

Click on the Paypal Button HERE

Book Marketing POSTERRelated Blogs:

Let 2015 be the year you get your book out to the world!

Are you joining the FUN?

Please leave a comment below to register your interest

Can you please share on Facebook? Twitter… Linked in… & Google+


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Revealing NEW Book Cover

cover-revealWOOHOO! I’m revealing the book cover of my 5th resilience book for families, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember.

I can’t keep it secret any longer!


‘Endearingly told and full of hope, compassion and humor, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember provides a gentle introduction for children to the realities of dementia and Alzheimer’s.’

Harry Helps Grandpa Remember is personal for me: borne from my first-hand experiences  with my father-in-law, Terry Tyrrell diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and my dad Aubrey Cox diagnosed with memory loss.

I won a RADF grant through Arts Queensland and Logan City Council to publish Helps Grandpa Remember. Read HERE

Arts Queensland

Arts Queensland

Logan City Council

Logan City Council

DRUM ROLL … Revealing my Book Cover

My heart’s pounding fast. My stomach is squirming.


Harry Helps Grandpa Remember by Karen Tyrrell

illustrated by Aaron Pocock

ktyrrell-harry-cover-promo-webuse-smlThe book cover was designed by Book Cover Café using clever colours and fonts to optimize Aaron Pocock’s heart-warming illustration of Grandpa and Harry…

And to highlight Grandpa’s ‘AHA’ Eureka moment.

What is Grandpa remembering?

How does Harry kick-start Grandpa’s memory?

ktyrrell-harry-cover-promo-webuse-smlI’m Seeking Feedback on my Book Cover…

Does the cover ENTICE you to take a peek inside?

Will the book cover STAND OUT on the book shelf?

LOVE to hear what you think …


I’m biting my finger nails here … and praying for positive Book Karma.

Please let me know!!! … I need to know Now

Can you please Comment, Like, Tweet  or Google plus?

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Tips for teaching Creative Writing in Schools


Creative Writing in schools

Today I taught Creative Writing to four High School classes. It was nerve wracking, exciting and extremely rewarding.  Mabel Park SHS contacted me, requesting I teach narrative writing to four year nine classes.

I presented ‘Build the Spaceship‘ creative writing lesson, using visualization techniques to create a movie-like story with a setting and a viewpoint character. The kids loved it especially when I called ACTION and the story came to life!!!

I couldn’t believe the enthusiasm shown by the students and the positive feedback I received from the teachers.


Build a Spaceship workshop

I write humorous techno sci-fi fantasy novels for kids and hope to publish this series soon.

Am I qualified to teach Creative Writing?

My name is Karen Tyrrell. I’m an experienced ‘Gifted & Talented’ teacher and published children’s author; currently I’m a writing tutor for Brisbane City Libraries. I also present writing workshops in schools, libraries and at festivals.

How did I do it? … I share all my tips in a step-by-step guide below…

Tips for teaching Creative Writing in Schools

Ensure your website includes information of your author visits so schools know you present creative writing to schools. HERE

  1.  Make sure you have a Blue Card, an ABN number and you know how to write a professional invoice for the school.
  2. Talk to the school organizer well in advance so you present a workshop that meets their students’ needs. Ask them to be specific.
  3. Work out your lesson plan, your verbal script and practice… practice… practice.
  4. Ask your contact person if the school is a “Visible School”. If so, research how to write Learning Goals and Success Criteria. Write these on the white board when you arrive in the classroom.
  5. Prepare and print out all the handouts in advance. Plan and prepare visual prompts include posters on laminated cards. Bring blu-tack and anything else you might need.
  6. Arrive early to park, to sign on, and set up your room well before students arrive.
  7. To ensure there are minimal behavior problems, make sure a teacher is present. Keep the lesson FUN, moving along at a good pace and very positive. Don’t respond to calling out or rude behavior.
  8. Email the school suggested follow up activities for the children to complete afterwards.  Send the school your book information as well as info on other workshops and talks you present.
  9. Show the school Library / Resource Centre your books and publications. They may order your books as well.
Karen Tyrrell Creative Writing presenter

Karen Tyrrell Creative Writing presenter

Related Blogs

STOP the Bully Goes to schools

Author Talks and School Visits

What was the BEST thing about presenting  Creative Writing?

YAY! A testimonial from Mabel Park SHS has arrived!!

‘Thanks so much for bringing your talents to Mabel Park SHS for our Year 9s. I admit I was a little anxious embarking on creative writing activities for some of the low-achievers, but delighted when I saw the result.

Your motivating, inclusive style and high-yield activities really had the students at all abilities working hard, creating stories and experimenting with their imagination. Congratulations. I’m sure the students can now approach creative and imaginative written tasks with a sense of confidence and achievement.”


I LOVED watching how engrossed the children were with their stories and how much they wanted to keep writing when the lesson was over.

Have you ever considered teaching Creative writing to schools and libraries?

Were the workshops tips helpful to you?

Please share to your networks, LIKE, tweet and Google plus!!

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Winner Sylvia’s Itch Book Giveaway


Winner Sylvia’s Itch Book Giveaway

I’m announcing the winner of Sylvia’s Itch signed  book giveaway ..

“Robin Adolphs’ new wildlife picture book Sylvia’s Itch is illustrated by Aaron Pocock.

A friendship story about two adorable Sugar Gliders and a mysterious itch.”

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition HERE

 Drumroll … and the Winner is …

Didien Orme … Congratulations!

I’ll be in contact soon.

Please share, Like Tweet and Google plus the good news.

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Heal Yourself with Life Writing


Heal Yourself with Life Writing

Thanks South City Bulletin magazine for publishing my story ‘Memoir life writing to assist healing’.

Life writing healed my trauma from parent-teacher bullying, PTSD and mental illness. Writing down my story healed and inspired me to resolve my past and present issues, empowering me to move on to become emotionally more aware and insightful.

I, Karen Tyrrell, teacher was once bullied by parents at my school to breaking point. Traumatized, I became severely stressed, developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Writing down my life helped me to recover, heal and kick-start my life again.

I wrote and published Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness , Me & Him: a Guide to Recovery and empowering books for children, Bailey Beats the Blah and STOP the Bully are available from Amazon and selected book shops.

Me & HER: A Memoir of Madness + Me & Him: A Guide to Recovery

Me & HER: A Memoir of Madness + Me & Him: A Guide to Recovery

How did Life Writing help me?

Life Writing offered me a voice, a powerful healing effect. When I scribbled down my honest reflections and my innermost thoughts and feelings, a heavy weight was lifted from me. I literally wrote my way to recovery.

Each time I expressed my feelings and emotions on the page, I grew emotionally more stable, able to resolve my issues. Writing became a powerful outlet to express myself and to heal my emotional problems.

Life writing will provide you with the tools and confidence to be happier, stronger and more resilient.

Heal Yourself with Life Writing

1. WRITE every day in your journal reflecting on what you’re feeling right now. Get in touch with your honest thoughts, feelings and emotions. If you’re dealing with an issue write how you’re going to address it, growing stronger and more empowered.

2. REFLECT on your past experiences. Ask yourself: What really happened? How did I feel then? How do I feel now? How am I growing stronger and more resilient?

3. TRY other forms of creative writing: letter writing, poetry and short stories. Writing this way will promote your creativity but also help to resolve your past and present issues.

4. CONSIDER writing your memoir. Read award winning memoirs and attend memoir writing workshops.


Read #8 Tips ‘Memoir life writing to assist healing’ at South City Bulletin!  HERE

FREE Event: Write & Publish a Memoir Workshop

Come to Logan North Library 7th April at 6pm. I’ll guide you step by step on how to write and publish your memoir. Bookings essential. Please ring ASAP to reserve a seat Ph 3412 4140 Read HERE 

Write & Publish a Memoir purple

Which Writing tips resonated with you?

Has writing helped to heal you too?

Please comment below, like, tweet and Google plus


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Write Historical Fiction with Sally Murphy 1915

1915 - Copy

Historical Fiction

How do you write historical fiction?

Meet writerly friend Sally Murphy, prolific children’s author of over thirty books. On the 100 year anniversary of Gallipoli and the ANZACs, Sally launched a powerful new historical fiction novel 1915 for children.

Sally Murphy

Sally Murphy

About the book 1915:

When Australia throws its support behind Britain in its fight against Germany, young teacher Stan Moore is one of the first to join up, swapping the classroom for adventure in Europe. But the 11th Battalion is sent with the newly formed Anzac Corp to Gallipoli, where Stan is confronted by the hard lessons of war. Though conditions are dismal and death is everywhere, so is the humour and bravery that is the true spirit of Anzac.

The silence was eerie. In the darkness I could just see the mist that swirled around the rowboat. No-one spoke, no-one made a sound. Somewhere ahead a loud report. A shot? Rifle fire, from the beach, which was only dimly coming into view. This was it.


Historical Fiction

I’m a resilience author teacher and a huge history buff too, dreaming of writing historical fiction for children one day myself. I interviewed Sally to get tips on  how to write historical fiction.

How to Write Historical Fiction?

  1. Why did you choose teacher Stan Moore’s story of his recruitment in the Great War for the subject of 1915?

I was asked by Scholastic to write a fictional story set in 1915. When trying to think of a character with whom young readers would connect, I thought of a teacher. I read some really interesting articles and books about life on the home front, and the impact of the war on schools and this cemented my idea of having a teacher as the main character. When I tried to figure out how best to show the impact on the home front, I wondered who was teaching his class back home.

The idea that it could be his twin sister meant that not only could I connect Stan with his students but also show the impact on his family. Elizabeth, Stanley’s sister, writes him letters, telling him about the school and about the family, as well as news of the day and her worries for his safety. Stanley, in turn keeps in touch with Elizabeth and also his students.

  1. How is your story 1915 relevant to children in 2015?

The ANZAC legend born in 1915, and of course the centenary of these events is being celebrated this year. Reading a story set in the midst of the war gives students an understanding of what happened. Rather than just reading dates and figures, children can experience war first hand through the eyes of a character.

Reading stories about our past helps to shape our present and our future. I don’t want to glorify war; I want to show the human impact, in the hope that readers will see how terrible it is. Maybe one day we can have world peace!

  1. What lessons can children learn from 1915?

Hopefully they’ll see that even in the midst of terrible adversity, qualities like friendship and determination and even a sense of humour can still come to the fore. I’d also like them to see soldiers were just normal men – some of them very young – doing their best because they believed it was right. I hope children will see how tragic war is, and start thinking about ways to ensure a more peaceful future.

  1. What themes do you explore in 1915?

Obviously the theme of war is very strong, and the associated topic of courage, but also themes including friendship, family bonds and the value of humour. Another theme that crept in is the way that having a creative outlet can help in difficult times.

Stanley carries a notebook and writes poetry and his friend CJ draws at every opportunity. The creation of the ANZAC Book – a kind of annual that was put together in the last weeks of the Gallipoli campaign – is also featured, with Stanley having a role in collecting material.

1915 - Copy (2)

Historical Fiction

Part of the Australia’s Great War series from Scholastic Australia, 1915 has been released in time to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the landing of the first ANZACs at Gallipoli.

You can learn more about 1915 and about Sally Murphy at her website: or her Facebook page.

Related Blogs

Roses are Blue by Sally Murphy

How to Get Published by Sally Murphy

Were Sally’s tips on writing historical fiction helpful to you?

Does the positive messages from 1915 resonate with you?

Please comment, like, tweet and google +



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Sylvia’s Itch Book Giveaway

HomePage-Feature-Images-SylviasItch-1 (2)WIN a signed copy in the book giveaway!

Meet my dear author friend Robin Adolphs  who launched her gorgeous children’s picture book, Sylvia’s Itch about a sugar glider with a mysterious itch. Robin’s wildlife themed book is illustrated by super talented artist Aaron Pocock and designed by the highly esteemed Book Cover Cafe.

Robin and I met at Year of the Edit writing course at Queensland Writers Centre. We share much in common: we’re both teachers, writers and my resilience picture book Bailey Beats the Blah was illustrated by Aaron Pocock and designed by Book Cover Café too. YES, we share the same publishing team!

On 28 February, the Wildlife Preservation Society of QLD launched Sylvia’s Itch at The Centre, Beaudesert part of a wildlife awareness day.

Me & Robin at Sylvia's Itch book launch

Me & Robin at Sylvia’s Itch book launch

Sylvia’s Itch

Sylvia is a beautiful young sugar glider.
She should be happy, but she has a problem.
She has an itch that just won’t go away.
Even worse, it’s right in the middle of her back in a spot she can’t reach.

Sylvia and her best friend Penelope just can’t get to the bottom of Sylvia’s mysterious itch, so they set out together to find a cure.

Sylvia’s Itch is an endearing story of friendship, tenacity and problem solving.

Title: Sylvia’s Itch
Author: Robin Adolphs
Illustrator: Aaron Pocock
Publisher: Butternut Books
978-0-9872603-8-3 (pbk)
978-0-9872603-9-0 (ebk)
978-0-9942121-0-8 (hbk)

Sylvia’s Itch is available via Amazon

or from Robin Adolphs’ Website


WIN a Signed copy of Sylvia’s Itch Book Giveaway

Leave a comment below explaining why you’d like to win a signed printed copy in the book giveaway.

Winner announced on Friday 13th March
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