Credits: personal archive/reproduction

Eduarda Macieira, who is only 12 years old, is the author of ten books. Violeta (2018) and Martina (2022) were published by Editora Girafa. Through the Estante Mágica project, a digital platform that allows children from different schools to write and publish their own books, Duda has written eight other original works. The young author, who is a seventh grader, already takes part in literary fairs and in talks on children’s literature. Junior reporter Clara F., age 10, interviewed Duda to learn more about how she writes her books. Check it out:

Clara F., age 10. Credits: personal archive/reproduction

Of all the books you have written and published, which was the most difficult?

The most difficult one to publish was Violeta because it was the first, so we had to do crowdfunding to raise the money to publish it. But the hardest one to write was Martina because, since it is thicker, and I was older, it took a little longer for me to come up with the story. Besides, it’s a story with chapters, so it ended up being longer than Violeta.

Do you have an idea for a book, a story in mind, something you would like to write?

Yes, I’m working on a new book. I’ve already finished it, but I still have to edit it. It’s about a little witch. I really like writing fi ction, magic, that kind of thing. My style is really more about telling stories, creating characters… I really enjoy it!

Which genre do you like to read? What kind of story?

I like stories that are more for teenagers, like those by Meg Cabot, who wrote The Princess Diaries. I’m currently reading the sequel to the books. I also enjoy Brazilian authors like Mauricio de Sousa and Pedro Bandeira. I really like reading stories with a lot of characters and drawings.

What inspired your books?

For Violeta, it was a drawing that I made for my dad, which actually became the cover of the book. I had drawn a girl for him, and then I decided to write a story about her—so that was my biggest inspiration. My inspiration for writing Martina were my ragdoll, which I got when I was one, and the book “Reinações de Narizinho” by Monteiro Lobato, which I liked a lot and read around the same time.

What is Estante Mágica? I read a bit about you in an article where the project was mentioned. How did it help you publish your books?

I started taking part in the Estante Mágica project when I was in first grade at my old school, Miraflores. The school had partnered with Estante Mágica, and all first-grade students were participating. We would write and draw our own little books, and then they would get published. I really enjoyed stapling together the little books at home, but writing a book and seeing it in print, and giving it out to friends and family, was really cool. I had never experienced that before, and I liked it a lot. Estante Mágica was very important, because it inspired me to create my own stories.

Were you afraid of publishing your books? Did you feel any kind of hesitation?

No. I was a bit shy and afraid of public speaking, but when I started going to literary events, I ended up learning to overcome that fear. I took part in several events; the first one was Flip [Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty], where I launched the fi rst Estante Mágica book and Violeta. I was a little scared of speaking in public because I was younger and had never spoken to many people. So I started going to more and more events, like the Bienal, literary festivals, where I had to speak with a microphone, and my (public) speaking started developing. So I think I ‘ve improved a lot with that!

What would you say to kids who want to write and publish their own books?

I would tell them to always keep dreaming. Keep dreaming and writing your stories, sharing your ideas with other people, creating characters, drawing. I think it’s important for people to develop their skills so they can always be better at what they want—and always dream — to be.

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