Kelly Sharpe wants to body slam bullying. The former tag team pro wrestler has just released her first self-published children’s novel, Daisy Wrestles with Confidence, in which she encourages kids that it’s cool to be kind.

The book follows the story of 10-year-old Daisy, who is the daughter of single mom and professional wrestler, Serena Star. Daisy loves to watch pro wrestling, especially her mom’s matches, but she struggles when it comes to self-confidence. Being the constant target of a group of bullies at school, whom especially like to make fun of her mom’s profession, doesn’t help the situation. I won’t give away any spoilers, but the book is an easy, light read with fun illustrations by Jesseki Kelly, that encourages kids to be kind, but also to embrace their true selves no matter what others may think. And it’s definitely a book young wrestling fans, especially females, will enjoy and relate to.

Kelly Sharpe with her book Daisy Wrestles With Confidence. Facebook photo

Kelly Sharpe with her book Daisy Wrestles With Confidence. Facebook photo

“We grew up seeing all the wrestling stuff in at the time in the boys’ section,” Sharpe revealed when asked about her motivations behind the book in a phone interview with “It was obviously not like nowadays, it’s a bit more inclusive of everybody. But wrestling for the majority was in the boys’ section. So, part of (writing this book) was me wanting to write a story that involves wrestling with a strong mother and daughter bond. And a young girl who loves (pro wrestling) no matter what. And you know that’s what we felt like growing up. We were the two girls in high school who loved wrestling and pretty much if I look back, we were the only two girls who liked wrestling in high school!”

Sharpe said her book is one that she would have loved to see on store shelves when she and her twin sister/eventual tag team partner, Lucy Knott, were growing up. Now 35 years old and currently residing in Orlando, Florida, Sharpe is originally from Manchester, England. She and Knott have been pro wrestling fans since approximately the age of 12. The two were especially fans of The Hardy Boyz. A week before their 16th birthday, the twins began their pro wrestling training at FutureShock Wrestling. They would continue to wrestle as Hannah Blossom (Knott) and Holly Blossom (Sharpe), The Blossom Twins, for the next 10 years.  The team had stints in promotions including Pro Wrestling EVE, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling or TNA (now IMPACT! Wrestling), where they were contestants on the reality show TNA Wrestling: British Boot Camp competing for a TNA contract. (Rockstar Spud, known as Drake Maverick in World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE, was declared the winner.)

The Blossom Twins. Holly Blossom (Kelly Sharpe) and Hannah Blossom (Lucy Knott). Photo credit: IMPACT! Wrestling

Sharpe compares The Blossom Twins to having a similar personality to WWE’s Bayley’s original kid-friendly character. She said it was integral for her and her sister that the team be “for the kids” and one kids could look up to. The twins’ “sweet” personas were additionally inspired by their love of cooking and baking. (Fun fact: the twins have also just released their own cookbook, Fame Da Lupo.)

“When we went to OVW (at the time the developmental promotion for WWE) we were the bad guys straight away,” Sharpe explained with a laugh. “We were sort of still sweet because we love baking cupcakes. But then it we’d win a match, (our opponents) would get a cupcake to the face and all that kind of stuff. So, we were sweet and innocent, but in addition we’re bringing the kind of over the top annoyingly sweet and innocence because that was our first taste of being the bad guys, which was a lot of fun. We used to do bake-offs and then eventually when we turned good, we’d hand out candy bracelets and cupcakes to the audience.”

Sharpe said the team naturally had aspirations of going to the WWE. They had a few tryouts. But Sharpe isn’t bitter and doesn’t feel they missed out. Instead, she is incredulous and grateful of all the experiences and accomplishments she and her sister had during their time in the squared circle. With the help of the “twin switch” (similar to what the WWE’s Bella Twins referred to as “twin magic,” where the twins would trade places during a match without their opponents or the referee being none the wiser) both Sharpe and Knott had the opportunity to wrestle Mickie James early on in their careers. They each held the OVW women’s championship, again with an assist to the “twin switch.” And there was the aforementioned time on TNA Wrestling: British Boot Camp and the UK-based series, A League of Their Own. (League, hosted at the time by James Corden, has athletes, comedians, and other celebrities competing against each other in sports trivia.)

In this book illustration by Jesseki Kelly, Daisy and her mom, Serena Star, work together to make some new wrestling gear.

“WWE was the dream,” shared Sharpe. “But those little things to experience and get to do because we were professional wrestlers meant everything to us. So, looking back now we never feel like we missed out necessarily.”

To Sharpe, there was a mixture of reasons why she decided to hang up her wrestling boots. For one she got married in March 2013 to her husband, Chris Sharpe, who is American and is currently known as NXT referee Chip Danning. While waiting for her green card, she couldn’t wrestle in American anyway and she was missing her family back in the UK. In addition, she struggled with anxiety over being her “own worst critic” over her performance in the ring.

“I think I just needed a break,” confessed Sharpe. “Because (wrestling) was stressing me out more than it was fun. So, it just felt like it was time for a new chapter.”

Sharpe and Knott threw themselves into blogging, having a YouTube channel, baking, cooking, creating their cookbook, and reviewing blogs and books. The two also worked as teaching assistants both before, during, and after their wrestling careers as their mother insisted they needed a solid, backup plan. Knott started writing books first and while watching her sister promote and talk about her books, Sharpe decided to use her experiences working with children and put them into her own first novel. It didn’t hurt that she was always making up stories for the children she worked with to entertain them.

“I’m creating stories all the time,” she stated. “So, I just started writing them down.”

WWE Women’s World Champion, Rhea Ripley, poses with Kelly Sharpe’s debut novel. Sharpe said the moment meant a lot to her. “I absolutely adore her confidence and her just going out there and just looking like she belongs there! And she knows exactly what she’s doing! I have (this photo) printed out on my wall!” Twitter photo.

Sharpe was already a fan of the “wrestling doodles” of Jesseki Kelly, especially the ones of members of the NXT UK roster, so once she came onboard as the book’s illustrator, Sharpe had the confidence to put her book out into the world.

The choice to focus on bullying was because of some of the bullying she and her sister experienced for being twins and pro wrestling fans. She and her sister also feel that it is a subject that deserves more attention in schools. Sharpe and her sister are also ambassadors for Kidscape, an anti-bullying organization.

Another motivation was the fact that her heart would break whenever she would hear stories about young people committing suicide because of bullying.

“I can’t comprehend how children are taking their own lives because they feel like there’s no way out,” she revealed. “And to think that’s because other children aren’t kind… if I could take it all away. This is my small contribution to helping more people see (the impact of bullying).”

She added, “I know kids go through so much sometimes. But I really would love kids to just know that it’s not nice to be mean to other people. And like our mom always said, ‘Treat people the way you want to be treated.’ And I just wish kids would know that it’s not funny and it’s not cool to just pick on somebody. And it’s nicer to be kind. And it’s cool to be kind, that whole cheesy kind of thing you hear growing up sometimes. But I wish it was more apparent that it’s cool to be kind.”

Sharpe said has written a second book about Daisy. She has also just released the aforementioned cookbook with her sister, that was a 10-year labor of love. She currently works in a bake shop and still loves pro wrestling especially Pretty Deadly, Cody Rhodes, Rhea Ripley, and naturally a fellow twin tag team, The Usos.