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). My family is Thai, but sadly, I can’t cook and I’m not good at eating spicy food. 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 thought they were all joking, but maybe 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 books HERE.
WILL YOU COME TO MY SCHOOL?
I would love to come visit and talk about what it’s like to be an author-illustrator! Learn more about bringing FRAZZLED to your school/library by clicking on the button below:
If you’re a student, please let your parents, teachers, and librarians know—show them this website and spread the word about the Frazzled series!
If you’re a parent, teacher, or librarian and would like to find out more about booking a visit, please email me at email@example.com.
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. Plus, many of the things that happen to Abbie also happened to me, but I’ll let you guess what’s real and what’s not…
HOW DID YOU BECOME AN AUTHOR-ILLUSTRATOR?
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 always liked to write and draw, but I never thought I could become an author-illustrator until someone saw my doodled planners (see some of them here) and had an amazing idea—I should write a book! So much has changed since I started working on the Frazzled series. I’m not sure what is next for me, but if history is any indication, I’m pretty sure it will involve books!
WHAT KIND OF MATERIALS DO YOU USE?
I mostly use whatever paper I can find, micron ink pens, and a good ol' fashioned No.2 pencil. All of the art in Frazzled is drawn this way!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
There are so many great books out there—I don't even know where to start! I don’t think I can choose just ONE, so instead, I’ll share with you a few of my childhood favorites. These books were a huge influence on who I am as a reader AND a writer! See the list of my favorite books growing up HERE.