I'm crazy excited today to be a part of the promotional tour for Frazzled, the Middle Grade debut from Booki Vivat. Booki is an amazing artist, and her doodles have been blowing me away on Twitter for years, so I knew I needed this book in my hands the minute I learned of its existence. Booki was so nice as to answer a few questions for me about creative inspiration, fictional best friends, and of course her protagonist Abbie Wu, so I hope you guys all enjoy the interview!
If you could introduce yourself to readers in doodle-form only, what doodle might best sum you up as an author?
I think this pretty much sums me up—after all, my book is called Frazzled.
What’s one aspect of Abbie’s character that you absolutely share with her? One that’s nothing like you at all?
Honestly, I can’t think of anything significantly different between Abbie and I! So much of Abbie’s character is based on who I was when I was a kid and who I am now. I guess, getting down to the details, Abbie is a middle child, but growing up, I was technically the oldest!
I think anyone who has seen my doodles or knows me in real life gets the sense that Abbie and I are very similar. Beyond our shared resentment towards piñata birthday parties and insatiable love of pastries, Abbie and I can both be a little… dramatic. In fact, the inspiration for Frazzled came from an especially dramatic doodle I had drawn in a moment of crisis. It said, “I live my life in a constant state of impending doom.”
Spoiler alert: Abbie feels the same.
Inspiration can strike at the oddest and most inconvenient times. Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever felt the need to make a few quick doodles or jot down ideas to save them for later? The strangest medium you’ve ever used when paper wasn’t available?
The strangest place I’ve ever felt the need to doodle was this one time I went out dancing with a group of (relative) strangers. It was such a strange scene and there were so many hilariously awkward and interesting interactions happening around me. I got caught up observing the social dynamics within the space and I had this itching need to document it somehow. That night, I went home and drew a series of doodles about the culture of “going out.”
I usually just stick to pen and paper which isn’t unusual at all, though where I get that paper can range anywhere from receipts to candy wrappers to toilet paper. Contrary to what “toilet paper” implies, I have never doodled on the toilet.
If Abbie were to write a story about you, what title might she give it?
She would probably title it something verbose and cheeky like, (Still) Frazzled: The Constant Confusion and Unavoidable Uncertainty of Adulthood. Something like that.
Every once in a while I come across a character whom I know would be my best friend (obviously) if they were real. What one other fictional character might Abbie find a best friend in?
Abbie is the kind of kid who could probably spend all her time in her own head and drive herself crazy, so she really needs friends who can coax her out of that. I think someone like Harriet M. Welsch from Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy would make a fantastic best friend. They might have a rocky start to their friendship and it might take a while for them to warm up to each other. Harriet is a bit purposefully mischievous, whereas Abbie is more accidentally rebellious. But ultimately, Harriet’s sense of curiosity and unapologetic honesty is exactly what Abbie needs in a friend.
Thank you so much Booki!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.
Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.
Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!
Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Booki Vivat has been doodling somewhat seriously since 2011 and not-so-seriously since childhood. She grew up in Southern California and graduated from the University of California, San Diego. She currently works in publishing and lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @thebookiv and on Instagram @bookibookibooki.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
a Rafflecopter giveaway
9/21: What Sarah Read - Review
9/22: Supernatural Snark - Q&A
9/23: Mundie Kids - Review
9/27: Fiction Fare - Review