July 27, 2007

Author Lee Sullivan ’80 Shares Wonder with Children

Her latest among 23 books is The Flyer Flew!: The Invention of the Airplane

After the birth of her son, Lee Sullivan ’80 decided to leave her fulltime job in construction management and stay at home. She tried her hand at writing.

“I needed stimulation for my brain,” she says. “And I’ve always loved children’s books.”

Sullivan has published 23 titles under various imprints with Lerner, a school-library market publisher, under the name Lee Sullivan Hill. The latest is The Flyer Flew!: The Invention of the Airplane.

“I’d been working with editors of Lerner Books in Minneapolis for about eight years,” she explains. “They wanted such a title and asked me if I were interested in authoring it for their Own My Own Science series.”

Sullivan enjoys sharing her curiosity about the universe with young readers, but now that she’s working fulltime again, finding the time to write is a challenge.

“I published most of my titles in a ten-year span when I combined work at home with work part-time as a construction estimator and engineer,” she says. “Some of the time, I completely devoted myself to writing and doing paid school visits. Two years ago, I returned to the construction industry fulltime as a cost estimator for Gilbane Building Company in Chicago, Ill. I just transferred out to California with Gilbane and live in La Jolla, Calif.”

Sullivan believes her time at Lafayette definitely helped prepare her for her career experiences.

“The Lafayette impact is pretty amazing,” she says. “My A.B. engineering curriculum prepared me wonderfully for both construction management and writing, and encouraged my creativity.”

In her free time, Sullivan enjoys riding her Yamaha motorcycle and her classic 1985 Px150e Vespa. She enjoys daily walks on the beach and is planning to take surfing lessons.

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