Flavia Bujor is only 15 years old, and she's already a best-selling author. Her book, The Prophecy of the Stones, has sold 20,000 copies in France and Italy and more than 30,000 copies in Germany. The book made its U.S. debut in April. The young author, who lives in France, decided she wanted to write a novel when she was only 12, and the book was published when she was 14. Scholastic News Online recently caught up with Flavia to see what she had to say about her book, writing, and more.

SN: Which of the three girls in your book is your favorite?
Bujor: I tried not to have a favorite while writing, but I must admit, I do really like Jade. She was so courageous and strong and exactly how you imagine a heroine should be.

SN: Do any of the characters in your book resemble people in your life?
Bujor: I didn't want to base them on people I know. The whole point of the book was to imagine different people and what they would do in the most extraordinary of situations. I had a lot of fun creating all the different characters. I would think about their role in the book and about their personal history and then fill that out with details of their characters, etc. So no, my Jade isn't my neighbor, Amber my classmate, and Opal my cousin!

SN: How did you think of the idea for the story?
Bujor: I can't remember how or why the idea came to me. I've always enjoyed daydreaming and thinking up stories in my head. I just kept on adding on to this one until it started to feel like a real adventure.

SN: How did you put the book together? Did you use an outline?
Bujor: I had a vague idea of where I wanted to go with the story, but never put it all down in a detailed outline. I would just sit down and write and then later re-read to see if it made sense in the overall structure of the book.

SN: What is your writing process? Do you write every day or only when the spirit strikes you?
Bujor: At the beginning I would just write whenever I felt like it. I was on vacation and had a big notebook that I took everywhere. When I got back to Paris I started working on my computer. Sometimes I would write every day, but then weeks could go by when I wouldn't write a line.

SN: Do you ever get writer's block? How do you help that?
Bujor: Of course! But I wouldn't really call it writer's block because nobody was forcing me to write. I just wrote whenever I felt like it. Sometimes I would have trouble with certain scenes, or lose faith in the story. At those points my friends were wonderful. They really helped me believe that I could finish it!

 

SN: Do you revise your work? How important is it to you to be able to revisit and rewrite what you have already put down on paper?

Bujor: Of course I need to revise and edit my writing. While I'm writing I try not to block my ideas by making sure the writing is perfect. I know I'll be able to go back later and refine the rough spots. The story also evolves, so sometimes things might seem important at the beginning, but then become less so as the story develops.

SN: If Prophecy is made into a movie, whom would you like to star in it?
Bujor: I never really thought about the characters in my book in terms of movie actors. I wasn't basing them on reality and so it's really hard to find their counterpart in a real person. That said, I wouldn't have anything against Keanu Reeves playing the nameless one!

SN: Are you planning to write a sequel? If not, what kind of book(s) would you like to write next?
Bujor: I don't want to write a sequel to this book. For me the story is complete the way it finishes. I am writing something else right now, but it's very, very different. It's set in the real world and doesn't use fantasy at all. I'm not sure if it will even be published one day because it's really different!

SN: Have you read any English-language books (even in translation)? Do you have a favorite book?
Bujor: I've read lots of different things. Right now I'm really into Shakespeare, and a while back I read lots of [Ernest] Hemingway. I like to pick up all sorts of books, not only children's books or assigned school reading.

SN: What other kind of writing do you like to do?
Bujor: I like all different kinds of writing: letters, e-mails, poems. Everything, just not term papers!

SN: How did you get started as a writer?
Bujor: I loved to write ever since I was little. I started to write poems when I was 6 years old. I'd read them out loud to my friends during recess. From there I just started to write more and more. Short stories or other little texts, beginnings of novels . . . The Prophecy of the Stones is the first book, however, that I finished to the end.

SN: Do you have any advice for young writers?
Bujor: I would tell them to just have fun writing. I was really lucky that my book was published. I never thought that would happen. Although I'm absolutely thrilled that it was. For me, the writing itself was always important and seeing how far I could take a story, rather than about being published.

SN: Why is reading important?
Bujor: I think reading is important because it allows you to travel and discover new people and worlds. It changes your perspective and widens your horizons. I just really love to read. I think it's much more entertaining to get into a book than to watch reality TV. So much more interesting things happen in books!

SN: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Bujor: Unfortunately I don't have a lot of free time because I have too much homework, but when I'm not busy with school I like to hang out with my friends, go to the movies, walk around the city. I also like to play piano a lot! Oh, and I do write from time to time!