Thursday, January 29, 2009

Interview with Lea Schizas, author of Bubba and Giganto

Hi Lea,

I want to welcome Lea Schizas, author of Bubba and Giganto.

Would you tell us what made you decide to write about bullies?

Penny, my own children had run-ins with one form of bullying while in elementary school. From my understanding now, bullying seems to have increased. Schools are doing their best to counter these bullies by enforcing various rules in schools, but I felt if I can contribute some suggestions or show kids how the person who is bullied feels inside, the dangers of what a victim might do, then perhaps I can change one child.

Why did you chose soccer as the sport in which the boys participate?

Boys, let’s not joke on this, are reluctant readers compared to girls. So I felt an attraction to them would be to use a sport. I used soccer to show another area besides bullying: discrimination or assumption that one person doesn’t fit in with a certain sport because of their weight. I show how the determination from one best friend can make a big difference in a child’s life by having them as their support system.

Who did you use as role models for your characters?

My kids. One thing I love about my children is that each one of them have and continue to befriend people who need a support, or a shoulder to lean on. They’ve all played soccer, the girls and my son, and have always went out of their way to practice after school with friends who needed more practice time.

This isn’t just a sports story, it also weaves mystery throughout. Why did you write across these two genres for this particular story?

I find mystery pulls a child’s interest to continue reading. Like adults, they love to try and figure out the answer to the mystery. Mystery also is like a cliff-hanger, drawing them into the characters plights.

I love your descriptive phrases such as “he’s my own personal Barney the purple dinosaur friend.” Or, “He puffed out his chest like a rooster about to crow.” Do you have a trick for finding just the right phrase?

Not sure how many writers do this but I visualize each scene by closing my eyes and seeing it in movie mode. I picture my characters, see beyond them – the setting, the skies, other characters around them – which helps me see their body language, facial expressions. Also, don’t forget you need to offer descriptions that kids can relate and understand.

I understand you next book will also deal with the theme of bullies. Can you tell us a little about this next project?

My next one is a picture book, Libby the Odd Squirrel, for kids 6-8 years of age. In this one, Libby is the squirrel bullied and shunned by the other squirrels who are a different color than her. So you might say it touches base on racism, as well. Libby wants to be their friend and doesn’t understand why they keep to themselves. She meets up with two birds who are surprised at something Libby is about to do at a crucial moment in the book. Enough said…don’t want to spoil the ending. GRIN

I’m also in the process of writing the next book in the Bubba series. This time the theme will touch upon lack of understanding from students when they have a new student at school who has a disability.

Thank you so much for your support. I had a great time today.

Thanks for stopping by Lea and for sharing your thoughts with us.


  1. Yes, Libby the Odd Squirrel does hit on the bully program and diversity. I'm looking forward to the finished book. The illustrator will do an excellent job to go with the endearing story.

  2. Great interview. I'm looking forward to the next book in the Bubba series. I don't know how Lea can out do the first book, but if anyone can, she will.

  3. Thank you all for stopping by. It's been a pleasure working with Lea.

  4. Great interview. Bullying is such an important subject, Lea. You're brave to take it on. Good luck with the tour, by the way!

  5. Lea,

    You're touching on such important issues with your books. I'll definitely read the next book in the Bubba series.


  6. Karen, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  7. Thank you everyone. Make sure to stop by The Writing Jungle to see who the winners of my ebook will be.

    And the second book in the Bubba series is coming along. And yes, it's going to shine just like the first one but we'll get to meet the three main characters in-depth.