From Goodreads: "Kudos to the author, in a climate of hyperbolized teenage characters and fantastical plotlines, for letting us into Henry "Biggie" Abbott's head for a while. In doing so, he shows us that even those kids without superpowers or tragic fates can leave an unforgettable mark on readers. Long live Biggie! "
Published: March 1st, 2015
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. Hundreds of people 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 life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?
Real Problem = Great Fiction
Let’s start this guest blog out by agreeing on one simple thing: life’s hard. We’ve all muttered those two words to ourselves time and time again. Even people who seemingly have it all deal with everyday challenges.
When I write a book, I always create my lead character first. I give him a name, a location, an age, a profession, hobbies, interests and, of course, personal issues/conflicts. I, then, pick a day of his life and start his journey. As days pass and my character walks through his world, he is going to find conflict. We all do. Just think about all the things you have done today. Has anything gone smoothly? If you can say ‘Yes!” Congrats. You’re having a good day.
Most of the time, every step we take has a good outcome or a bad outcome, and those good and bad outcomes tend to rotate more than we would like. What I love about creating realistic characters is that realistic problems always find them. Now, I have to figure out how my lead character will get out his mess.
In BIGGIE, my lead character, Henry “Biggie” Abbott, lives with his rich parents. He has no learning disability or physical element. He’s big, but as long as he eats right and stays active, he can have a very healthy life. On the surface, Biggie lives a charmed life.
But even those who have charmed lives battle real conflict. Biggie often worries that he can’t live up to his parents. Biggie often worries that people will ridicule him. Biggie fears the real world.
My goal was to figure out how Biggie can lessen his fears and find real happiness. When people mock Henry, he has to learn to laugh back or fight back. When Biggie worries that he won’t be the baseball player his biological father was, he has two choices: do his best on the field or not play at all. When the real world seems too hard to navigate, Biggie must either find good friends or hide out in his room.
As a contemporary YA author, the problems come easy, it’s finding the solutions that is hard…and fun.
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