Novel provides closure for author mourning death of daughter

April 13, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

It took a while for Bob W. Brannon to realize why it was so hard to get past chapter 20 when he was writing a novel based on the life of his late daughter, Kristie Dawn Brannon, who lost a battle with cancer at age 16.

"I couldn't figure out why," said Brannon, 67, who lives in Saint James Village. "I knew what I wanted to write, and I finally concluded, 'I didn't want to see it end.'"

In the end, writing "Cricket" would bring him closure.

"We felt closer to her by discussing and talking about the good times, the happy times," Brannon said.

"Cricket" (iUniverse 2008) is a novel about a little girl whose passion for baseball led her to a youth baseball league, where she faced jeers and laughs because she was a girl. In the end, Kristie triumphs, showing them all that girls can really play.


Brannon said the novel was based on the real-life experience of his daughter Kristie, who died in 1991.

Cricket was a nickname Kristie picked up when she was very little.

"She couldn't say Kristie," Brannon said. "It came out 'Kricky.'"

Kristie played Little League in the early 1980s, when there weren't many girls playing sports with the boys. As a pitcher, she was jeered at by people in the crowd and by other players. For every opponent who was upset at being "beat by a girl," Brannon said there were others who showed their support.

By the end of one game, Kristie was pitching so well, fans on the opponents' side waved white hankies in the air.

"They were saying, 'We surrender,'" Brannon said.

Brannon said he started writing the novel in 2006. He said he had fallen into a state of depression after Kristie died. He found talking about Kristie helped.

He published the 370-page novel in February through the self-publishing firm, iUniverse. The book is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

"A lot of people, when they lose a child, they don't want to discuss it or talk about it," Brannon said. "In my case, and in my wife's case, we're not those kind of people."

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