HI, I'M BOOKI VIVAT!
I have been doodling somewhat seriously since 2011 and not-so-seriously since childhood.
I was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Before becoming an author-illustrator, I taught middle school English abroad, fell off a ladder during a very brief stint as a bookseller, and worked as a book minion in children's publishing.
Now I live in Brooklyn, New York where I drink lots of coffee and make books for kids.
WHAT HAVE I BEEN UP TO LATELY?
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME?
BOOKI - book (what you read) + E (the letter “e”)
VIVAT - V (the letter “v”) + vaaht (rhymes with “ought”)
IS YOUR NAME REALLY BOOKI?
Yes, my name is actually Booki. In fact, I’ve had the name Booki since before I could even hold a book! When I was younger, people used to say that I was destined to be a librarian or work in publishing or write a novel. I figured that most of them were joking, but now I’m starting to wonder if it was true...
Even though it has been my name since birth, I didn't always like it. At one point in time, I even thought about changing it! Read about why I decided to keep my name and what that has to do with writing and my love of books HERE.
HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
Well… my family moved to America from Thailand and a few years later, I was born!
I was raised in a small suburban town in Southern California. Growing up, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I loved books. When I discovered that there were actual jobs that would allow me to be around books all day, I was sold! Long story short, I moved to New York and eventually got a job in children’s book publishing. (Read the longer version here.)
I currently live in Brooklyn, New York. I’m still around books all day—only now, it’s as a children’s book author-illustrator! I’m not sure what is next for me, but if history is any indication, I’m pretty sure it will involve books.
IS FRAZZLED A TRUE STORY? ARE YOU ABBIE WU?
FRAZZLED is not a true story, but a lot of the things Abbie deals with in the book are things that I remember dealing with when I was in middle school. Also, many of the characters in the book are inspired by people I knew growing up! Not saying who...
Abbie and I are not exactly same person, but we are very VERY similar.
WHAT KIND OF MATERIALS DO YOU USE?
I mostly use whatever paper I can fine, micron ink pens, and a good ol' fashioned No.2 pencil. Oh, and lots of erasers. All of the art in Frazzled is drawn this way!