I'm delighted to feature my writing friend, Ali Bovis, on the blog today. I'm so excited about her new chapter book series, SYLVIE! I loved learning that Ali was inspired to write this story by both her experiences as a young activist and by a television character! Read on for Ali's thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection!
STORIES - Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Melissa. I’m excited to be here!
My debut chapter book series, SYLVIE, which just released, was inspired by my own background as a young activist and also by the unforgettable Parks & Recreation character, Leslie Knope. Like Leslie, I’ve always been fiercely determined to try and make a difference in the world. Perhaps also like Leslie, at times my approach tends to be a bit intense. I think it’s often the case with kids too, whose drives are strong and unlimited- so I believe that is why readers will see themselves in Sylvie and really want to root for her.
I’ve always been inspired by the world around me and the incredible (and often extremely quirky, special, and unique) people that comprise it. From family, to friends, to memorable characters from film, television, music, and books- they all are a constant source of heart, humor, and intrigue and, of course, entertainment. Pieces of their personalities stick with me, and in time build into some kind of force (aka my “main character”). The stories tend to flow from there.
I’ve also gotten a lot of inspiration from my own ambitions and experiences, and from being a constant observer of the behaviors of others- adults, children, animals, plus the occasional fictional alien.
CREATIVITY - How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?
I showcase my creative side through my characters. I imagine the most challenging, silly, and unexpected circumstances for them to try and navigate and let my mind run from there.
Outside of my own writing, I am passionate about stories in all forms. Characters and stories from other works pull me into other worlds and move me every day. From a powerful ballad on the radio, to a punchy line on a sit-com, to a twisty grand ending on a blockbuster film, to an unforgettable character in cherished novel, I get swept up in the story and my creativity is sparked. In a way, I’m showcasing my creative side from being a consumer of the story rather than the creator. I like to ruminate, analyze, discuss and feel these other creative works that have touched me.
CONNECTION - How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?
I hope to connect to my readers by creating stories that resonate with them and entertain them. I hope they might see parts of themselves in my characters and feel invested in the journey. I think authenticity and humor are key elements of what makes me connect with my favorite creative works, so I try to craft my stories to have lots of both.
I stay connected to the amazing KidLit community every day. I participate in many social media groups and events online including: Kidlit411, SubItClub, Making Picture Book Magic, Debut PB Study Group, The Manuscript Academy, WriteOnCon, 12X12, and more. I am a member of SCBWI and attend conferences, workshops, and other author events whenever possible. I’m also grounded in having the most incredible critique partners on the planet, and I co-founded the New Readers Rock 2020 debut group for chapter books, graphic novels, and early readers.
Thanks so much Melissa, for this wonderful opportunity!
Ali Bovis is a children’s writer and lifelong altruist. Her debut chapter book series, Sylvie, released in 2019, published by ABDO books. A Georgetown University graduate, Ali grew up in New York City and now lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband, two children, and two playful poodle-mixes. Like Sylvie, Ali is always dreaming up ways to make a difference in the world. Prior to writing for children, Ali served as Director of Corporate Affairs and Philanthropy for Polo Ralph Lauren. Ali has also worked or volunteered for numerous government, political, and nonprofit organizations including the White House, the United States Senate, three presidential campaigns, and Special Olympics.
CONNECT WITH ALI:
Visit Ali at www.alibovisbooks.com