A conversation with Valeria Bressan
Where did you get the idea for Under the Magical Sky?
It all started with my interest, passion and work in philanthropic projects and involvement with non-profits that focus on kids’ education. Helping those in need have positive effects in society, but more importantly to children.
There are kids out there who have nothing, and unfortunately go through hard times. Still, they trust in the “universe” that better times will come.
When I made plans to visit one of the organizations in Africa, I decided I wanted to bring something special to the children as a gift. Something that could make them dream, but at the same time encourage their creativity. I thought, what if I write a story that children can read and get inspired by?
Why are the illustrations in your book black-and-white?
We want to inspire children to participate in the story. By providing black-and-white illustrations, children use their imagination to fill in the color and create their own vision for the characters and story.
From the beginning, we all understand Leo is a lion, but is his fur golden brown as we all would expect?
A child may say, “no, he is…” and name a different color.
What do you hope children will take away from reading the book?
I hope the book motivates them to explore the world, giving them confidence to try to do something they have not done before while being authentic, original and kind.
What’s the theme of your story?
Under the Magical Sky is a fairytale adventure between a little girl and a lion. The story is grounded in love, trust and courage. Hopefully, the characters’ journey can convey values, beliefs, attitudes, and social abilities to children which, in turn, can help them think, communicate and behave in the world.
Our book invites all readers to be aware of the messages from their heart, follow their passions, and embrace creativity, whatever shape that may be.
How did you come to work on this book with Tauno?
Tauno and I met through a creative group a few years ago. He has a sensitive soul, and is an amazing artist. When I decided to write Under the Magical Sky, I reached out to him to see if he was interested in joining me in this creative endeavor. He said yes.
We enjoyed every single minute. We hope when people read the book, they understand the value of creativity and art.
What was your writing process?
I never wrote a book before, so I didn’t have any specific process. When I started to write, the first draft was very raw. I knew I wasn’t writing in a linear fashion, but I was okay with that. I believe when we are being creative, we should always be authentic, original, and let go of any judgment.
I embraced the inspiration that flowed through me, and followed what felt right for Ella’s journey.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I always loved books, but I never planned to be a writer or thought I could write a book, specially a children’s book. I felt I didn’t have the skills to pull it off, but I am deeply grateful for taking the challenge.
Now the seed is planted inside my heart, and I can’t wait to unfold another thoughtful tale. I guess this is what happens when we’re open, curious and follow our inner guidance.
Why did you want to write a children’s book?
Books are powerful and a source of knowledge. They influence and help children develop imagination, motivation, reflection and critical thinking. Every time a child reads a book, they develop these skills. They learn about people, places, emotions, and events outside their own experience. Most often, they identify themselves with the characters.
A book may stick with a child for years and continue to influence them until adulthood. That is huge. So why not to write a book that stimulates their curiosity and encourages positive behavior? Maybe my stories will enable them to open their minds, remove boundaries and reach unimaginable possibilities.
Honestly, there would be nothing more rewarding than seeing this happen.