Sullivan has created numerous characters over the years, such as the beloved “David the Pig,” “Donald the Pig,” “Harold the Hog” and “David the Other Pig,” and said he’s glad he never sold out to Hollywood or the merchandisers from overseas.
“Nope, never,” he said when asked if he regrets not seeing his characters on lunchboxes or as toy figurines. “Don’t care one bit.”
Sullivan said he chose a pig for the main creature for most of his stories because “nobody ever wrote about a pig. I can’t name any other children’s stories with a pig as the main character. Just shocked me that the pig as a literary character was so underused. Sad really. Just sad.”
And despite being 88 years old, Sullivan still has the same writing routine he’s had for the better part of the past five decades. He gets up, reads the paper, has some coffee and goes to his office about 7:30 in the morning where he writes non-stop until about three in the afternoon.
“Most of my books average about 1100 words, you know. My agent once read to me an article or an interview with Stephen King or Elmore Leonard, I don’t remember which one, they’re all the same to me: hacks,” said Sullivan. “And whichever one it was was quoted as saying they wrote 2000 words a day, that was their quota. Some ridiculous number like that. That’s just a bald-faced lie. I myself force myself to write 25 words a day. Twenty-five. Sometimes it takes me an hour, sometimes it takes all day. Writing is a tough craft, and anybody who sits there and says they can write 2000 words a day is a shyster. I wrote 32 words one day once. Best day of my career. They just kept coming to me. Good day. Good day.”