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Dreaming up books: author Jan Bozarth.

Jan Bozarth grew up in Texas, the daughter of a Cuban mother and a Welsh father. She studied music, art, and poetry in college, and spent many years creating songs as well as online multimedia games and programs for girls and children. Her first book, The Fairy Godmother Academy No. 1: Birdie's Book, came out last fall.

It tells the story of a 12-year-old girl, Birdie, who discovers that she's part of a fairy godmother lineage and encounters much adventure in the mystical land of Aventurine with her sidekick, Kerka. Jan lives in central Texas near her grandchildren. She also has created the online Fairy Godmother Academy, and her second book, Kerka's Book, is due out soon.


New Moon: It was fun to learn that you loved ballet as a girl and joined a surf club at age 16. How did you get into writing?

I can remember writing in a little spiral notebook with a crayon as far back as age 5, before I could actually form sentences. But I also wrote poetry and songs as a teenager, starting at age 13.1 have kept personal and dream journals all my life. I still have my first diary from when I was 12.

What was your inspiration to write Birdie's Book?

I have always been interested in dreams and dreaming because I am a lucid dreamer. That means I have been dreaming in vivid detail since I was a child. I could make myself accomplish things in my dreams, like facing my fears. I could also will myself to return to a particular dream to change an outcome. This is where I do a lot of problem-solving in my real life. I also get lots of creative ideas in my dreams--like songs and pictures. Some of the details in this book series come from my actual dreams. Of course, the names have been changed.

Did you have to do lots of research on plants and nature to make Birdie's love for plants come to life?

I am a gardener in my area in central Texas, but also asked my sister, who lives in Denver and has gardened in England, to help me. We researched the area where Granny Mo lives in the book, New Jersey, to make sure the plants we chose could really grow there. But I also added fantasy plants both at Mo's and in Aventurine. Some of the plants in Mo's greenhouse wouldn't ordinarily grow in that area, but Mo is magic! It would be fun to see if girls who read the book can find out which plants are real and which ones are fantasy. I also love, love, love trees, so it was easy to imagine the Glimmer Tree and make it play a major role in the story. The natural world has always been a source of inspiration for me. It is there that I feel most alive.

How do you come up with character traits and names?

I like to name things. I imagine different types of girls from different lands in the real world, as well as making up the lands in the fantasy world of Aventurine. One of the most fun things is to think of a terrain like the mountain range in Kerka's Book, called the Three Queens, and then form a mental picture of that place. Some of my readers say they can see the places in their mind's eye. This is a great compliment to me. I have had great fun creating a whole new language for the fairies called Fairen. You'll hear it spoken by the River Maidens in Birdie's Book, and will find more of it in Book 4, called Lilu's Book.

In Birdie's Book, Birdie realizes that everyone has a part of them that resembles a fairy godmother. How are you your own fairy godmother?

I have learned to take care of my inner "flame," my creativity. It requires care and feeding. I have to remind myself to build an altar to it and treat it kindly so that others will respect the things that flow from it, like books and songs and stories. Although it is good to be your own fairy godmother, I also need other fairy godmothers in my life.

Which character in Birdie's Book would you say you were most like, and why?

I am definitely like Mo, as I am a cool grandmother and love to bring magic into the lives of my grandchildren and all children. But when I was a girl, I was like Birdie too. I was dreamy and into plants.

Can you relate to any events that happen in the story?

Many of the dream sequences in the story are made up of things that I actually dreamed. I also did a walk through a labyrinth in order to get the visual experience of walking through the maze that is in the book.

Do you have any advice for young kids who have a passion to write?

Write as much as you can, and do not be afraid to write badly at first. You will eventually find your own unique voice.


Kati DiCarlo, 12, lives in Connecticut with her parents and crazy dog, Coconut. In her free time, she loves to write, and someday hopes to become a famous author.

Find Kati s review of Birdie's Book on page 27, where you'll also find Jan's sneak preview of her newest book, Kerka's Book!

Do you have lucid dreams like Jan does? Find out more by searching "Sleep&Dreams" at

Girls got to chat online with Jan, a past featured author at the Luna Book Club. Check out our new featured authors at the Club by typing "books" at
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Title Annotation:women's work
Author:DiCarlo, Kati
Publication:New Moon Girls
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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