10 Rockin’ Facts About Drum Roll, Please with Author Lisa Jenn Bigelow

We’ve been anxiously anticipating Drum Roll, Please for quite awhile now, so when author Lisa Jenn Bigelow agreed to help us share her incredible new book with the world, we basically fangirled all over the place. On the surface, Drum Roll, Please is about Melly, a 13 year old girl who heads to music camp with her best friend for the Summer. Sounds fun, right? What if you found out that Melly wasn’t actually that into playing the drums and felt pressured into going because her best friend and parents nudged her to? We’ve all been in that situation, right? Where we’ve felt too shy to speak up about our opinions or felt pressured to live up to someone elses expectations of who we should be? Friendship is about compromise for sure, but it’s not about compromising who you are.

In Drum Roll, Please, Melly learns that very significant difference. Despite her initial hesitance to attend the camp, she ends up discovering her love of the drums, channels her creativity, finds her confidence, and learns a whole lot about herself that she never knew before. Melly learns to own her identity and show the world who she truly is – and has a whole lot of fun in the process!

Author Lisa Jenn Bigelow has shared an excerpt of the book below, as well as some insight into her main character, Melly, and 10 Fun Facts about Drum Roll, Please! (As well as some of her personal camp photos!)


Drum Roll, Please


“I started playing. No particular song — I was free playing, following the beat wherever it led. I breathed in one measure, out the next, until my heart synced with my drums. The music unfurled inside me, expanding to fill every cranny of my brain and body. My arms and legs loosened up, and I began to play louder, faster. It was impossible to feel angry or helpless when I was in the groove. It was impossible to be a wallflower. I was in control here. I had the power. I would make the trees tremble for miles.”
Drum Roll, Please

When do you feel most “you”? For Melly, the main character of Drum Roll, Please, it’s when she’s playing drums. The rest of the time, she does her best to meet the expectations of her parents and her best friend, Olivia — even when it means setting aside her own wants and needs. Even Camp Rockaway wasn’t her idea. But camp is full of surprises, as Melly practices new skills, makes new friends, discovers new things about herself, and finds the courage to speak up for herself . . . all with the help of her drums!

10 Rockin’ Facts About Drum Roll, Please with Author Lisa Jenn Bigelow:

Drum Roll, Please

(Photo Courtesy of Lisa Jenn Bigelow)

FACT #1:

LISA JENN BIGELOW: Camp Rockaway is based partly on Camp Merrie Woode, my Girl Scout camp in Michigan. Like Camp Rockaway, it shared its lake with a sheep farm. Unlike Camp Rockaway, we didn’t have rock concerts — but we did sing a whole lot of silly songs.
FACT #2:
LISA: The other inspiration for Camp Rockaway is the Old Town School of Folk Music. It’s a Chicago music school for all ages that teaches everything from banjo to hip-hop dancing. It’s a fun way to make music and new friends at the same time.
FACT #3:
LISA: I don’t know how to play drums, but I can play piano, guitar, and harmonica. My whole reason for learning guitar was so I could play at campfires.
FACT #4:
LISA: I made many friends as a camper and camp counselor, and I still keep in touch with a few of them. However, unlike Melly, I never had a camp crush — at least, not one that went anywhere. Sometimes I envy her!
Drum Roll, Please

(Photo Courtesy of Lisa Jenn Bigelow)

FACT #5:

LISA: Camp Rockaway loves plays on words. My appreciation for puns comes from my dad. If he had a dollar for every time he’s made someone groan, he’d be a millionaire. Every pun in this book is dedicated to him.
FACT #6:
LISA: Camp Rockaway is made-up, but Michigan’s Adventure, the theme park Melly visits, is real. Plus, all the rides are real. You, too, can ride the HydroBlaster!
FACT #7:
LISA: Choosing songs for the book was hard. I wanted songs that are classics or hopefully will be someday. I also needed to represent the characters’ different musical tastes. Finally, I wanted lyrics with positive themes. Bonus: I learned some great new songs, including “Rebel Girl.”
FACT #8:
LISA: Writing songs for Melly and her friends was hard, too. I don’t have much songwriting experience, but hopefully that’s okay, since Melly and her friends are beginners, too. I made up tunes to go with the lyrics, but please don’t ask me to sing them.
Drum Roll, Please

(Photo Courtesy of Lisa Jenn Bigelow)

FACT #9:

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE is also being published by a Scandinavian book-of-the-month club this summer. Did you know “drum roll, please” in Norwegian is “trommevirvel, takk”?
FACT #10:
I wrote the first draft of DRUM ROLL, PLEASE over ten years ago. It was the first book I ever finished, and I had to rewrite it more than once before it found a publisher. The best dreams take the hardest work to come true! Don’t give up on yours.

Excited about Drum Roll, Please and want to meet the Lisa Jenn Bigelow in person? Here are a few of the author’s upcoming events!

Book Release Party
Wilmette Public Library – Wilmette IL
Sunday, July 1, 2018 – 2:00-3:30
Books will be available for purchase from The Book Stall.

Book Release Party
Bookbug – Kalamazoo MI
Thursday, July 12, 2018 – 5:00-6:00

Author Visit
Evanston Public Library, Main Library, Community Meeting Room – Evanston IL
Sunday, July 15, 2018 – 2:00
For grades 5-8.
Books will be available for purchase from Booked.

If you liked rocking out with Drum Roll, Please, we think you’ll love reading P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy!

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