Poppy is having a bad hair day. When Poppy is visited by two hairdressing fairies Flo and Sparkles each night, she wakes up with crazy hair! How will she stop these fairies from ruining her hair each night? Read the book to find out! It’s a delightful read that can be fun to read with your daughters who may wake up with knotty hair that can’t be tamed in the morning.
This book is unique for two reasons. First, that is written by a 14 year old teen, Sophia Namazy. The other unique fact about this book is that it is dedicated to Sophia’s brother, Max. All proceeds of this book go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Jimmy Fund.
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Interview with Author, Sophia Namazy
I wanted to ask Sophia some questions about what began this adventure as a teen author and her inspiration behind Pigtails, Ponytails & Fairytales. To learn more about Sophia, visit her website here.
1. What inspired you to write Pigtails, Ponytails and Fairytales? I would also love to hear about the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Jimmy Fund.
I have a close relationship with my twin brother (Max) and my sister (Poppy). Poppy used to and still does wake up with very messy hair. My mom used to tell her that fairies were coming in while she was sleeping and mess up her hair. I thought that would make a great story.
Over the years Max has been healthy but he still needs to travel to Boston to get checkups every year. His doctor has taken care of him since he was a baby and is doing some great research. I wanted to help her so that she might find a cure for Max’s condition. After the book was finished, I decided to donate all proceeds and dedicate the book to him. He’s been really strong over the years even when he was really sick.
What were their responses, along with your mom’s and dad’s, when you told them you wanted to write a children’s book? How important was it knowing that you had their full support by your side?
I don’t think I could have written the book or published it without the support of my family. They were really happy when I showed them my initial sketched and were very supportive. When they found out I wanted to donate the money to research they were surprised, but very happy.
Writing and drawing are two of your favorite things to do: Can you tell me more about the process of writing the book, Pigtails, Ponytails, & Fairy Tales? What were some of the things you enjoyed the most? And what did you learn along the way?
I do love drawing and I started the book by making sketches. Then the story just came naturally after. I started the sketching process sort of like drawing a comic book. That’s why it made it easier to write the story from there. I really enjoyed it when it all came together. I was worried that the illustrator wouldn’t have the same vision but it was amazing how similar our sketches were! It can be difficult to write a book, but it is possible. It should be a fun experience. There were days and weeks I didn’t feel like sketching or writing. I took lots of breaks which made it more fun and less like work.
100% of the proceeds of your book go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (where Max is treated), along with The Jimmy Fund? Why was it important for you to be able to give back and help kids your age and younger, many of whom are going through challenges at this time?
Max has to go to the Dana Farber every year so our family is very familiar with the city and the hospital. Every time we go, we see so many kids like Max some healthy and some very sick going through similar things he does. I was impressed with all the doctors and nurses there. I wanted to help kids like Max who have to go through so many tests and get sick very easily.
Could you share some words of advice and encouragement for those of our listeners who be having a bad day/week/month/year to help them remember that magical experiences can be possible?
This is a really hard time for all of us. We miss our friends, teachers and all the activities we used to do. I especially miss tennis which is something I would do regularly. I would say, this is a time to really appreciate your family. My brother and sister and I have become closer since we have been home and I would say, like the book , find the magic in the ordinary things around you.
What are some of the things that you hope kids, parents, educators, and those who love great children’s books can learn after reading Pigtails, Ponytails, & Fairy Tales, especially during this time?
The book came from a family story and it includes all of us in it. It’s possible to have an idea, write a story and then watch it being read to help others.
What are your dreams you hope to achieve? And can we see possibly see more books written by you in the future?
I am looking forward to starting high school in the fall and get back into a normal ish routine. I hope to use the time until then to start the next book in the series – hint – Poppy’s dad is in it!
To learn more about Sophia and watch the interview with her and her family with Empowered Publicity, watch below!