Dolores and Vladimir Andral, both in their early 40’s in Southwest Charlotte, began writing and illustrating Prissy Books in 2008. Dolores and Vladimir just published Prissy on the Moon and have been hosting local readings at schools and events. Teachers say the book is great as an early introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) where females and people of color are currently underrepresented. Keep reading to find out more about Dolores and the Prissy Books!
Q. When did you begin writing Prissy books?
A. I began writing Prissy stories about 6 years ago. I received my MFA in creative writing in 2007, and was really committed to writing adult work, but being a writer, having children, working in a preschool, writing for children came together naturally.
Q. What inspired the character Prissy?
A. The look of Prissy was inspired by many young girls I see with their hair in a similar style. For a long time when we'd see young girls with their hair in two pigtails my husband and I would say to each other, "There's a Prissy right there!"
Q. How many books are in the series?
A. We have about 9 completed stories so far in the Prissy Series.
Q. When will they all be available?
A. Prissy On The Moon, our debut story, is available now. We hope to have Prissy Leaving Town by Summer 2015 with the rest following in a moderate clip (industry standard is about 9 months).
Q. What ages are the books for?
A. The recommended age is 2-7.
Q. How did your husband become the illustrator?
A. This is perhaps my favorite question to answer. My husband came to be the illustrator because I was so bad at it. I had determined in my heart that I would be the author and illustrator. I drew one picture that I thought was phenomenal (I'm not an artist, so I was phenomenal at tracing a photo).
My husband told me that no one would buy my book with the one-dimensional drawing I had created. To prove his point, he drew the exact picture that I had traced. His picture was so much better, had so much depth than mine that I said, ‘OK, you're the illustrator.’ Till this day, he thinks I set him up.
Q. Where did you get the idea for Prissy on the Moon?
A. When my oldest daughter was 4 or 5 she would talk really loudly. She used her outside voice all day every day. My response would be that she wasn't on the moon, but on earth, and that she had to use her earth voice.
I would also add that on the moon she could probably be as loud as she wanted, but on earth she had to use her inside voice. And soon it became a euphemism in our home for everyone to speak softer. We didn't say things like be quiet, or shush, we would say "You're not on the moon!" That happened so often I told my children I would write a book about it, and that's how the Prissy books got started.
Q. Where can our readers find your books?
A. It is currently available at Amazon.com and Prissyworld.com, and soon to be available at BN.com. If you’re in or around the Charlotte area, you can also find it at Park Road Books and The Last Word bookstore.
Q. Tell me about your Prissy Parties.
A. When my kids were younger, we would throw "Prissy Parties!" They would ask to hear the Prissy stories, which they, in some way, inspired--and we'd make an event out of it, set them up with hot apple cider or hot chocolate with whip cream, and have a Prissy reading frenzy.