Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Talking with 12-Year-Old Author Jolie Vanier, Puwaii Adventures

Jolie Vanier, Puwaii Adventures with Joliea and Friends, is an author and film actress with a lot of energy and a ton of personality. What better way to put her talents to use than to create a series about “the world’s youngest fashion designer” who goes on adventures? Book #1 - Puwaii Adventures with Joliea & Friends - comes with an audiobook CD. Book #2 - Puwaii Adventures with Joliea & Friends ... the Adventures Continue - comes with an audiobook CD and a DVD for a read-along, where she offers art lessons. Jolie loves watching her character come to life. She talks about being a writer, offers advice and encouragement, and more!

What prompted you to start writing?
I’ve always loved writing stories in school; especially when we pretended to be authors and dressed up as the main characters. I never thought about a book until my mother introduced me to an artist friend of hers. He showed me books he had created, and encouraged me to create my own, and I thought, “I bet can write a book, too.” So, with help from family and friends, that's what I did.

How did you come up with the idea for Puwaii Adventures? And the concept for including a DVD?
I had to figure what the book would be about. That was the easy part, because I love fashion. My fascination with fashion started when my mother took me to a Pucci exhibit; I loved his designs and those wonderful, brilliant colors! (Color is fascinating to me - do you know that by combining red and yellow, you get orange?) I was trying to figure out how to start the story at the same time my family and I went on a vacation to Hawaii. That’s when I had the bright idea of “smooshing” Pucci and Hawaii together, and I came up with the Puwaii look!

Next, I decided my main character would be “Joliea”, the “youngest fashion designer in the world” who travels in a magical submarine. (Notice the similarity between Jolie and Joliea? Hahahaha!) I’ve read enough to know any exciting story needs a villain - so I came up with “Jack the Rat.” My other characters are taken from real life, like “Princess Issa,” is actually taken from my Maltese dog, Izzy.

I thought how nice it would be if I offered my books on CD, so my readers can hear me read my books! Then with my second book I included a DVD with a pictorial read-along. I also give children art lessons! Then I have a section where I tell you how to create your own book. I like the idea of “giving back, so that’s why I included both the CD’s and the DVD.

How do you find time to write with acting, homework, and other activities?
Thanks to the help I receive from my mother and grandmother, I am able to juggle everything. For instance, I can write and draw while waiting for auditions. When I’m working on the set, in between school lessons, my imagination just runs wild with creative ideas. Somehow I always find the time to make lots of things happen.

What is your favorite part about writing?
I think my favorite part is I get to actually get to see characters in my head come to life. I also like it when my characters interact with each other. All of a sudden they’re living their own lives and I'm "watching" and telling their stories.

What is the greatest challenge?
The greatest challenge is sitting down and getting started. Once I start creating the characters in my head, I'm on a roll. It's so much fun! Sometimes I even laugh out loud as I write.

How did you go about getting published?
My mother and grandmother are really in charge of that. Plus my mother's artist friend gave us a lot of tips.

What advice do you have for writers?
If you want to write a book for children, then I would recommend reading a lot of children's books. Then think about your favorite things; for instance, I love fashion. Then look around at your family members, friends, and pets. You can probably find your characters, because everyone has some sort of character inside of them. And don't forget many stories need a villain - like my character, “Jack Le Rat". Plus I think that children’s stories need action, so your characters have to be doing something active most of the time.

What are your favorite books/authors?
I'd definitely include Alice in Wonderland (the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie will be released next month in 3-D!) and also all of the Harry Potter books.

What's next?
In my 3rd book Joliea, the world's youngest fashion designer, will join her fun-loving friends and fabulous cast of characters for more globe-trotting adventures.

For more information on Jolie and her books, go to www.puwaiiadventures.com.

1 comment:

  1. Jolie, you sound like a very talented young author, and your books sound quite creative! I have a feeling you'll go far in whatever you set your mind to doing. Do you know yet how many books will be included in your Puwaii Adventures?

    Great interview, Debra!

    ~ Heather Paye