The advice Booki Vivat, author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling series, Frazzled, has for other authors and illustrators is to not discredit their creative work. “… Doodling, I totally dismissed it as not being creative,” she tells So Booking Cool. “I grew up writing fanfiction, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s not writing, that’s not really writing.’ But it is. And all of these things people do that are an expression of creativity, I think it’s very easy to dismiss those things as flippant or silly, especially when they don’t fit a certain mold.” Fanfiction not only increased her love for storytelling and writing, but she also sees the connection between it and her new project, Abbie Wu’s (not so) Epic Quarantine Diary.
The timely web comic series gives readers a new way to experience the beloved Frazzled protagonist, Abbie. Like many, amid the quarantine and pandemic, Vivat was nervous and overwhelmed. She was missing her family and friends. She was also mourning the end of Frazzled. The acclaimed series had always been an outlet for the former book publicist, who often finds herself feeling, well, frazzled. It was when she noticed other TV writers/creators imagining what their characters would be up to during these unprecedented times that she began to wonder the same about her own.
“It’s funny because when I think about the ‘quarantine diaries,’ I would have never written that normally in the Frazzled universe,” Vivat shares. “…But in some ways, I think of the quarantine diaries as a fanfiction that I wrote about my own book series. I love this idea of being able to expand on worlds that exist and expand on characters that exist.”
As Vivat comes up with something new and continues to gain readers, she welcomes the idea of people adding to the Frazzled world with their own creations. “It’s like a bittersweet sort of thing where the series ends and you have to let it go and let it free,” she says. “But in some ways, I think it’s kind of nice to allow new readers to have the series as a foundational thing and envision where it could go from there.”
Watch the interview to learn more about Vivat including whether she sees herself writing YA or adult books; if her background in publishing and book retail influenced her journey to becoming an author and illustrator; if she prefers illustrating over writing; how she is holding up lately during the COVID; if she thinks her Abbie Wu’s (not so) Epic Quarantine Diary side project is the kind of model authors can benefit from down the line; and more! For more information visit Vivat’s official website and the web comic series.