Today on American Girl Doll News, we have a special interview with the author of The Real Z: Jen Calonita!
JC- Jen Calonita
AGDN- How did you find out about American Girl?
JC- When I got the call from them about the book, I was so excited! Even though I missed the American Girl doll craze as a kid (my world was Cabbage Patch Kid dolls), I am super familiar with the dolls because of my two nieces, Emma, 8, and Brooke, 5. My sister actually let me take both girls to American Girl's store and restaurant in New York because I so wanted to see it. I took each girl for their birthdays, and they picked out their first dolls. I loved seeing all the dolls and looking at the books and learning the dolls' backstories. I find American Girl such an empowering brand for girls and feel so fortunate to have been asked to contribute to their dolls' storyline.
AGDN- How did it feel when you asked to write Z's first book?
JC-I got to watch Z's American Girl stop-motion YouTube videos, which are so popular, and I knew immediately this was a girl/doll I could relate to! Even though I'm not a vlogger, I feel like writing and vlogging go hand in hand. They are both creative mediums and I identified with Z's need to create as a tween. It's something I did a lot at her age. I wrote my friends' short stories all the time! They'd come to me and ask for specific storylines and I loved doing it!