Monday, October 7, 2013

Journey to Jazzland by Gia Volterra de Saulnier Guest Post and Giveaway

About The Author:

Born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and attended University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell). It was there that I learned to love jazz. I have been performing jazz and other kinds of music for over 20 years, throughout the New England area. I live in North Reading, Massachusetts with my husband Richard, and my son Charlie.

Genre: Children's Book
Publisher: Flying Turtle Publishing
Release Date: July 1, 2013

Book Description:

Join Windy Flute, Spitz Trumpet and their friends as they travel to a legendary place where music is joyous, creative and free.


One day during an orchestra rehearsal, Windy Flute was playing a piece of music and her mind started to wander. Over and over, she had practiced this piece and played this piece. Feeling bored, she felt that she wanted to be a little different.
Then something special happened. She began to hear notes that weren’t on the page of sheet music on her stand! When she started playing what she heard, Windy realized these new notes made her feel better. The harmonies and the melodies were the same, but the music moved differently. Before she could figure things out, she was interrupted by a stern voice.
Excuse me, Ms. Flute, do you mind playing with the rest of us? Where do you think you are — Jazzland?” said Mr. Conductor, scowling down at her.
After the rehearsal, Mr. Conductor gave Windy a severe look and stomped off the stage.
Windy turned to her friends in the woodwind section. “What’s Jazzland?” she asked. She was still thinking about the good feelings she got from playing different notes.
It’s a myth,” said Mr. Bassoon.
That’s right,” said Mr. Oboe, “It’s a legend. It doesn’t really exist.”
            “I think it exists,” said Spitz Trumpet.

Author's Guest Post:
10 things you didn't know about "Journey to Jazzland"

10) The original drawings and story was done for a class in 1999 and most of the original drawings had a lot of Boston, MA influence.
9) The story line of Windy Flute is pretty much based on my own personal experience, not that a conductor ever got cross with me, but I really wanted to know more about jazz, and the head of woodwinds at University of Lowell (sorry Mr. Martin, I'm calling you out here) didn't like the idea of me wanting to learn jazz.  I had to take classical lessons and jazz lessons.  To this day, I'm grateful that I know both.  I can read music and know how to improvise.
8 ) Sly Guitar is based off some "Jazz cats" I know - these guys have been in the jazz scene forever, and yes, they really talk like that. 
7) I really strived to have all the characters have "musical names" so that kids would understand it from a musical perspective
6) I had to re-write a good portion of the story line from the original book - the bridge scene is completely different - and one of the editors wasn't sure of the bridge scene.  To me, the bridge scene is vital since in Jazz (and most music) you have the tune and then what's called a bridge of music - I wanted young kids to get the reference even if they had to have it in their minds reading it
5) The original plan of when I first found out it was going to be published was to get music recorded on a CD or when the book came out on e book edition (coming hopefully soon according to my publisher) to have kids touch an instrument and hear what it sounded like.  Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but I am hoping to do a Book Trailer up on You Tube very soon and I'll have music for that!
4) I'm finding out that a lot of the tools/information that I use for marketing the faires/festivals we do here in MA/NH area and +Renaissance Performers and Merchants  for free is the same idea that I'm using for "Journey to Jazzland" . 
3) I am overwhelmed with joy of the support and grateful for all the opportunities and the amazing reviews I've gotten so far on this book.  It was just a project for a class and now look where it is now
2) Folks are already asking for a sequel - "Journey to Dixieland" is in my head (Clarinet as the lead in New Orleans)...
1) According to my publisher, this book will hit Amazon Europe very soon - if that is the case, that is HUGE news because Jazz is in very popular demand in Europe - so only time will tell if this is a hit there!

That is all I can think of...comments welcome if you have read the book!
 Gia Volterra de Saulnier


  1. I'm learning to like Jazz. My daughter is a music education major and plays saxophone, so she's always playing jazz around the house and in the car.

    1. A great way to introduce her to it is to have her listen to all the older greats. Not just saxophone players but also singers, piano players and other instruments! I hope she can keep on loving jazz as much as I do! Thanks for the response!

  2. Thank you so much for this opportunity to be featured! I really appreciate it!

  3. Wow, what a great excerpt and excellent premise! I love music and specifically jazz and what a fun way to introduce kids to music! I would love to read Journey to Dixieland (I am a HUGE fan of New Orleans:) Congrats and I wish you well on your tour! Pit Crew