Piggy Nation Books
On January 31, 2009, our son, Nick Rosser, was taken from us in a car accident. In the ensuing days I struggled to get out of bed. Grief drained me emotionally and physically. At the time of the accident, I was on hiatus from my job as First Assistant Director on the TV show 24. It was fortunate that I did not have to immediately return to work during those initial days.
However, days turned to weeks, my hiatus ended, and I returned to my job. At work I was surrounded by loving friends and crewmembers who were compassionate and understanding. But I felt empty inside. Work ceased to hold the same excitement that it had before Nick’s passing.
I’d always been passionate about my job, enjoyed my time on set, and as a manager I strived to create a lighthearted environment for my co-workers. But now I questioned the arduous hours and wondered about working so hard when someone that I loved could be taken so easily. Let me take a step back in time.... A year before Nick died, my family met my motherin- law for dinner one evening. She circled the busy parking lot looking for a place to park. As a spot opened up, she was about to take it when a guy in a Corvette zipped in, stealing the space.
My family and I were stunned! Nick urged me to beat the guy up. I’ve never been much of a fighter, so I declined. We joked over dinner that the Corvette driver should be reprimanded for his “piggy” behavior, and the concept of Piggy Nation was born. In the interim, between that evening and Nick’s death, I created a novelty item called the Piggy Ticket and wrote the manuscript for a children’s book about piggy behavior.
I sent the manuscript to several literary agents, but had no luck getting it published. I printed several hundred pads of Piggy Tickets with the hope of selling them to gift shops, but the pads sat in our garage collecting dust. After Nick died, I was overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Life seemed like a giant treadmill of heartache. As I searched for something meaningful to latch onto, I printed a copy of my children’s book manuscript and carried it in my pocket. I pretended to edit the thing; moving sentences around, adding exclamation points, deleting commas.
But I was really just spinning my wheels. One day on set, my coworker, Jill Cosh, asked what I was reading. I explained that it was a children’s book I’d written that was going nowhere fast. After reading my manuscript, Jill’s face brightened and she exclaimed, “This is great. You should perform school assemblies. Kids will love it.” Jill’s plan sounded perfect, because Nick had always enjoyed working with kids.
He was a camp counselor, a lifeguard, and created a camp video game when he was only 14. Jill’s idea was the first spark of hope I’d had since Nick died. Looking back, there’s no doubt in my mind that Nick’s spirit brought Jill and me together. Her enthusiasm (and her threat to “kick my butt” if I didn’t follow through) nudged me forward.
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