... Gia Volterra De Saulnier
1. Tell me about your book “Journey to Jazzland” and where you got your inspiration for it?
This is a picture book about a flute named Windy who gets a little bored in Orchestra one day and wants to learn more about jazz. The main character Windy Flute is based off of my story since I am a jazz flutist that had a challenge of getting to play jazz in College.
2. Do you enjoy giving interviews?
Actually, I do, I find it interesting that everyone asks different questions.
3. What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
Many years ago, when I was looking to perform jazz in Boston, I went to a restaurant informing them that I had an established group to perform jazz. Total lie – but I did get a group together very shortly after that and we played at Montelio’s for a couple of months (they are no longer around).
4. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Does it really make it go faster?
You know, I think we all do that – but it doesn’t make the elevator go faster – on a side note, my husband makes the engraving for some of the elevator buttons you push!
5. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Funny, there were a lot of changes in this book. In fact the “bridge” section almost didn’t happen. I am glad that the changes did happen, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
6. Is there a message in your novels you want the readers to grasp?
It’s not a novel, but I do want kids to learn more about music and jazz – have them ask mom and dad about it. I really don’t want jazz – a very important music in our history to go by the wayside.
7. What was your favourite subject at school?
Music! Well, that and math, I really liked math.
8. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Look, it is really scary just getting to that one step of getting your work published – it took me almost 12 years! My point is you need to do your homework and search for what publishers are best for your book! Do your own marketing for the book too – it’s YOUR book – SELL it!
9. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it all imagination?
It is mostly my imagination mixed with real life experience of myself learning about jazz.
10. What’s next for you?
Not sure yet, I’ve been asked if I’m going to do a sequel for the book.
11. What would YOU like the reader to know about your book or about you in general?
My goal here is to get music back into elementary schools and get kids excited to learn about music!
12. What was the point you realised that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?
In 2012 when I got the chutzpah (guts) to send my manuscript to a publisher and then they said YES – what a surreal feeling that is! It still is surreal to me that this book is actually published!
Join Windy Flute, Spitz Trumpet and their friends as they travel to a legendary place where music is joyous, creative and free.
One day during an orchestra rehearsal, Windy Flute was playing a piece of music and her mind started to wander. Over and over, she had practiced this piece and played this piece. Feeling bored, she felt that she wanted to be a little different.
Then something special happened. She began to hear notes that weren’t on the page of sheet music on her stand! When she started playing what she heard, Windy realized these new notes made her feel better. The harmonies and the melodies were the same, but the music moved differently. Before she could figure things out, she was interrupted by a stern voice.
“Excuse me, Ms. Flute, do you mind playing with the rest of us? Where do you think you are — Jazzland?” said Mr. Conductor, scowling down at her.
After the rehearsal, Mr. Conductor gave Windy a severe look and stomped off the stage.
Windy turned to her friends in the woodwind section. “What’s Jazzland?” she asked. She was still thinking about the good feelings she got from playing different notes.
“It’s a myth,” said Mr. Bassoon.
“That’s right,” said Mr. Oboe, “It’s a legend. It doesn’t really exist.”
“I think it exists,” said Spitz Trumpet.
Born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, Gia attended University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell). It was there that Gia learned to love jazz. Gia has been performing jazz and other kinds of music for over 20 years, throughout the New England area. She lives in North Reading, Massachusetts with her husband Richard, and her son Charlie.