We are so happy to have had the opportunity to interview the creator of Magelica’s Voyage, Louise Courey!
Magelica’s Voyage is a fantastic fantasy filled with adventure, fun characters, and a truly inspiring message for young girls. Magelica is a young, bright, and curious girl, who does not know where she came from or who she really is. But when she is transported to the Isle of Dreams, she launches into an adventure of discovery and learns that wonderful things can happen when she uses her imagination, believes, opens her heart, and trusts in love.
Sonia: Welcome Louise!
Louise: Hi Sonia
Sonia: Louise, the world that you’ve created in Magelica’s Voyage is imaginative, bright, and of course, magical. How did you first come up with the idea for this story? How did that idea evolve over time into what Magelica’s Voyage is today?
Louise: Well Sonia, my background is in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations and I am also a mother to four children, two girls and two boys.
When I started working on Magelica I was the Director of Marketing for Coty Cosmetics and felt there was a void in the marketplace in terms of “good for you” bath products for young girls, as well as positive role models that I would like my daughters to relate to.
Magelica started as a new character and bath line for young girls. It was designed to appeal to children and parents alike, across all cultures, be eco friendly, and be brought to life through a bath inspired, fun and entertaining fairy tale. The objective was to establish Magelica as a modern yet traditional heroine with solid values.
Over time the story was edited, the illustrations were adapted to the digital world, and the “How to make your life magical” section was added. The life messages have taken on a larger role over time, but the goal remains to inspire children and their parents and teachers through fun, fantasy and entertainment.
Magelica is also very much about the power of the magical feathers and the energy that we can share through these special feathers. My hope is for people around the world to share the power of positive energy and to connect to each other through Magelica’s stories and feathers.
There have already been some incredible stories about the power of these feathers. It is really very exciting and awesome.
Sonia: That is great! We love hearing how an author’s idea blossoms into a full-fledged story. Let’s talk about some of the characters in Magelica’s Voyage. First of all, there are some great names in this book, like Gri, Odin, and warblegrif. What was the inspiration behind these names of Magelica’s friends and creatures?
Louise: Magelica’s Voyage has its roots in mythology, fairy tale and make believe.
The name Odin comes from the God Odin in Scandinavian mythology. He was recognized for his leadership, knowledge, and wisdom. When we were looking for the name of a wacky bird, the perching bird called warbler came up and one of our team members took it from there. And Gri, is derived from grandmere which expresses the warm, motherly role that this character represents.
Sonia: One of my favorite quotes in the book is by Queen Raya: “You are what you make of yourself, child….Believe in love and trust that you will find the answers you seek.”
What compelled you to center your book around such powerful messages like believing in yourself, having faith in the unknown and in love?
Louise: At the age of 27, I became a single mom with all the challenges that that entails. The key to passing those defining moments in my life was to believe that I could.
I think that the world is gradually shifting, and that more and more people believe that positive energy attracts positive energy, and that love is key to improving our world. I like to think that when we change the way we look at things, the things that we look at change.
These beliefs have worked for me. My goal is to help change the world one girl at a time, by helping others discover how they can work for them.
Sonia: That is incredibly inspiring Louise. I’d like to think that, too! In addition to the messages in the book, I wanted to talk about the stunning illustrations in Magelica’s Voyage. They really encompass the mood of the book and transport the reader into the world of Magelica. How did you find the person/people who brought your magical world to life? What was it like working with him/her/them?
Louise: The illustrations were created to be able tell the story and transport the reader to a magical world all by themselves.
The original illustrations were hand-drawn by a wonderful woman named Eugene, who lived in a small apartment with lots of cats. She came to me via one of our team members, and had done illustrations for Disney animated movies. We had an instant connection. We worked many months on designing the look and feel of each character as well as the colors and individual personalities, which would bring the characters to life.
The final versions were adapted into digital, but the difference from other digital renderings is the depth of each drawing which has its roots in India ink, watercolor and pastel.
Sonia: Who is your favorite character in Magelica’s Voyage and why?
Louise: My favorite character is most definitely Magelica, but I am in love with all of them. I guess Odin would be my second favorite because he is off the wall, and a bit wacky and frenetic!
Magelica is cool without trying to be! She has a unique look: green hair, almond skin, almond eyes, modern, yet traditional. She is also smart, and independent, and open to learning and adventure. Yes, I believe that Magelica will help change the world one girl at a time, and that Odin will ensure that they laugh and are happy while getting there.
Sonia: What kinds of things have you learned from seeing Magelica’s Voyage evolve from a single idea into publication?
Louise: I’m an idea person, and have always had the gift of combining creativity with business. I grew up in the world of package goods marketing, and learnt my craft with companies like Johnson and Johnson and Clairol.
Knowing what to do is one thing, but actually doing it is quite another!
You learn that things evolve, and that the process requires passion, determination, and lots of patience. I also learned that timing is everything and that with lots of hard work and faith, things come to fruition when the timing is right! You just need to believe!
I’m so grateful for being able to finally do it! And so excited to take it to the next level! Magelica is all about sharing the magic, and that is what I intend to do!
Sonia: The book ends on a very intriguing cliff hanger and hints to more books. Are there more books to follow Magelica’s Voyage?
Louise: I am working on two more books as we speak, and there are many voyages to come. Readers are anxious to find out what happened to Prince William, and to understand Magelica’s magical origins. More fun and adventure are on the way, and of course more important life lessons.
We are also working on various toys, clothing and other entertainment media which will help us reach a global audience. Magelica is just starting to fly and our goal is for children around the world to share the magic, wear the magic, and believe.
Sonia: What kinds of advice would you give to kids today who are interested in writing or illustrating their own book?
Louise: I have so much respect for all writers and people who publish just about anything. It is an incredible amount of work! To do it right takes passion, patience, determination, and meticulous attention to detail!
My advice is to go for it! Follow your passions and have fun doing it! And don’t worry how long it takes. Magelica took 20 years to finally get published. But timing is everything, and now is her time.
A marketing and advertising executive,a tireless fundraiser for many charities,a painter, gardner, and mother to two girls and two boys, Louise’s passions keep growing.
Sensing the need to do more for young children in our challenging world and inspired by life itself, Louise created Magelica, a young girl with fairy blood and her own questions about life.
Louise takes our winged heroine and her fun and wacky friends to new worlds of magic and adventure, challenging the reader to discover the magic of life and the power of love for themselves.
Many years in the making, and new stories underway, Louise and Magelica intend to spread their magical feathers to touch children and caregivers around the world.
You can learn more about Magelica at magelica.com!