A huge thank you to Dr. Jill Adams, a professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver, who invited author Derek E. Sullivan to speak with her class via Skype today. Also thank you to the wonderful class – the students were prepared, professional, enthusiastic – I learned a ton from the experience!
Derek is the author of the debut contemporary young adult novel, BIGGIE. Dr. Adams kindly invited me to attend today’s class and I want to share just one of my notes:
Question to Derek, “what kind of research was involved in writing BIGGIE?”
My notes on Derek’s answer, “A ton of research was involved – more than anyone would believe. I even had to research the Chipotle in Iowa – there wasn’t a page in the book that didn’t involve fact checking. I talked to a doctor about diabetes, I talked to baseball players about what kinds of stunts they do.”
Great questions! Great answers! Great class!
“Sullivan’s debut novel packs in a lot, and the attainment of perfection is a key theme. Ultimately, this is about Biggie daring to reconnect with others in his life instead of choosing to be invisible.” – Jill’s Bookmark review
BIGGIE by Derek E Sullivan
Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa’s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him and suggests he should play baseball. Hundreds of people before his dream girl have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his entire life trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?