Monday, November 17, 2008

Author Lea Schizas Part II

Hi Kathy, and thank you for hosting me this week. One of my inspirations to write Bubba and Giganto: Odds Against Us was my children. While in elementary school, they had encountered various forms of bullying:

Name calling
Friends shunning them in fear of bullies
Personal property stolen or vandalized

We’re talking elementary students here, kindergarten to grade six. It’s appalling what you hear. Where does this stem from? Video games? Improper upbringing? Not knowing how to deal with frustration so they pick on other children?

This got me thinking how I can demonstrate and offer one solution to deal with bullying, so I incorporated soccer into the book. Girls and boys play the sport in Canada and it offers a teaching of team unity/sportsmanship. I now had my means for intervention to get frustration out but in a monitored setting.

Next obstacle: who would my characters be?

I didn’t want the usual good/bad guy personaes. Each had to have a purpose so without giving anything away, I’ll break down the who and whys for each:

Bubba: the first person POV throughout the book. Although Bubba is a tough guy and doesn’t stand for bullying, I gave him the name ‘Bubba’ to show that even kids who have self-esteem, can stand up for themselves, have their own things to deal with. In his case the embarrassment of being named Bubba.

David, aka Giganto: Giganto is a kind, loving, and giving student. Because of his weight and the fact he wants to join the school’s soccer team, he is ridiculed and called names. Because of his soft-spoken manner, many believe he’s mentally challenged in some ways. In fact, Giganto is in the Mensa elite, but never shows off, and sticks to his own corner. Inside, he carries this need to befriend someone so when Bubba gives him the time of day he latches on. The danger in his need to ‘fit in’ means he holds back, hides a fact about him to Bubba that places his life in danger finally.

Johnny: Johnny is the typical kid who likes the leader of a group and stays friends even though he’s partial to the other friends. He joins their three-on-three soccer scrimmage for his own personal needs to show-off, yet along the way he realizes there’s more to Giganto and clearly understands why Bubba likes being around him.

The bullies: typical bullies who like to pick on others for their own self-gratification. However, I gave the leader of this ‘bad tag team’ a reason to explain his actions. I can’t reveal what they are but suffice to say they play a big role all the way through. Bullies don't just bully without having a reason behind it. May stem from family situations (abuse, older siblings picking on them) and they take it out on other kids.

Besides bullying, there had to be another connecting factor associated with teens and their indifference to a life-threatening situation. The health issue I chose is one my son experienced. Once again I can’t reveal it or else it will spoil the mystery in the book. But it’s an important enough health issue to connect and show children the risks they take if they don’t take care of themselves.

Kathy, if you don’t mind, I’d love to bring my characters later this week to answer some of your interview questions. They’ve been bugging me for some spotlight time and I’ve…well…couldn’t say no to these guys.

Bubba & Giganto:Odds Against Us
Lea Schizas

4RV Publishing LLC
PO Box 6482
Edmond, OK 73083-6482
ISBN: 978-0-9797513-6-3

Available at:
4RV Publishing
Barnes & Noble
The Reading Warehouse

E-Mail Author :


Shari Lyle-Soffe said...


Wonderful interview. Lea shows how much thought she puts into writing her characters. This sounds like a fascinating book.


Vivian Zabel said...

Of course I know all the twists and turns of Bubba & Giganto, and the ending.

The book deals with problems children of all ages face. I recommend it for every child, teen, and adult.


Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

The best thing while writing is when my characters take a hold and direct me where they want to go. That's why I don't bother outlining a story. These backstreet drivers always steer me in the right direction.

educationtipster by author Kathy Stemke said...

Thanks for being my guest Lea. Can't wait to see what your characters will say!!

Zebee said...

Great insight into your writing Lea. I can't wait to see what your characters have to say.

Joy aka Zebee, or is it the other way around?

Janet Ann Collins said...

As a former teacher and former kid, bullying is an important topic to me. Lea's book should help make a difference for lots of kids.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Guess I better apologize beforehand before my characters appear because, afterall, I am only their writer and have no influence over their dialogue. GRIN