2013 Past Headlines

Eric Linne, '81, Releases His First Novel Completed for Master's Thesis in English


Eric LinneEric Linne, ’81, has become a published author with the release of his novel for young adults titled “Reversal.” It’s the story of a recently orphaned and displaced 14-year-old girl who finds redemption by being a part of her school’s all-boy wrestling team. Linne completed the book as his master’s thesis in English at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. It’s available for purchase on Linne’s website, or at Amazon.

Linne majored in English at Indiana University in Bloomington, and wanted to attend graduate school to continue his English studies, but his parents convinced him that law school was the more prudent choice. He was assistant director of the Indiana Medicaid Program in Indianapolis, then moved on to work as a consultant for Community Health Management Corporation in Skokie, Illinois, advising the company’s health centers nationwide on management issues. After that, he was director of home care for the American Hospital Association in Chicago, and finally, he was a health policy analyst for the Chicago Health Policy Research Council, a non-profit associated with The University of Chicago.

When Linne’s wife, Pam Hutson, ’81, was offered a position as an attorney with ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam, the family moved there and he became a stay-at-home father for the couple’s two sons.

“I’ve been doing the at-home dad thing for 20 years,” Linne said.

His original plan, an advanced English degree, never completely left his mind, so after another move – this time to Charlotte, North Carolina, he enrolled at UNC Charlotte to study English literature. The idea for his novel originated during a young adult novel writing class.

Linne wrestled during high school in Shelbyville, Indiana, and was a wrestling referee for several years. The couple’s oldest son, Mason, started out wrestling, and then the younger son, Arthur, followed him in the sport.

The story in “Reversal” is inspired by Linne’s love of the sport and the fact that Arthur wrestled in two separate matches against girl opponents in one season, winning one bout and losing the other. The girl he lost to went on to be a public school state qualifier and is now wrestling on a girls’ team in college in Kentucky.

“After the match he lost, I had several parents approach me and ask questions like ‘How did he feel about wrestling a girl?’” Linne said. “I turned the question around in my mind and began thinking, ‘What's it like for a girl to be out there wrestling all those guys?’ In my mind, a girl wrestler has to be very brave and have a thick skin to even step out onto a wrestling mat.”

The setting for Linne’s novel is a small farming community in central Indiana, not unlike where he grew up, and hopes to continue writing about Kayla, his main character, as she progresses through high school.

“My ultimate dream is to find a literary agent who believes in my story,” Linne said, “and would be willing to work to have it published by a major publisher. I’ve been told by a number of readers that they would love to see it as a movie. We shall see!”

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