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Samoan Author publishes newest book "Visiting Grandma"

Samoan Author, Jane Va'afusuga, has published her fourth children's book called "Visiting Grandma" and will soon be available in Samoa.

Mrs. Vaafusuaga has been a published author since 2006.

Her newest book "Visiting Grandma" is set in New Zealand and about a European girl who has a Samoan friend. The book has been in development for a while and she had worked with artist Azra Pinder-Pancho for the book's illustrations.

"At the moment it's just been printed in New Zealand, we don't have it yet in Samoa because the publisher hasn't been able to send it over yet. Visiting Grandma is the fourth children's book that I've written that's been published," Mrs. Vaafusuaga said in a phone interview with Samoa Observer.

"I am a teacher that's my background, education is my background but I have lived in Samoa for a long time, twenty years. I have lived in the village of Faleaseela for twelve years so it's really based on my experiences," she said.

She explained that her greatest hope is for children living in Samoa and overseas to open books and it will immediately be something that they can relate to.

According to Mrs. Vaafusuaga the illustrator, Azer Pinder-Pancho has an amazing style of making the illustrations as bright and colorful as possible to make the text come to life.

"When you are a writer there is a bit of you in everything that you do but there is a lot of me in this one Visting Grandma. It's about a palagi girl that becomes part of a Samoan family," she said.

"My stories are either based in Samoa or based in New Zealand."

When asked if she has other books planned to be published in the future she said, "I have quite a few on my computer, it's just a matter of getting a publisher who will accept it and run with it."

"And because the biggest thing is the illustrations, the illustrations take a long time. I have worked with other illustrators too and they put a lot of detail into the work and it takes a long time for the illustrator but I have been happy with all the illustrators that I have worked with," she said.

The book "Visiting Grandma" will also be available online and Mrs. Vaafusuaga explained that her publisher Little Island Press has a website to order the books from.

Mrs. Vaafusuaga advises the young writers to continue to write and explained that the way you get better at writing is to read and increase your vocabulary.

"Many people have stories inside them but they don't know. A lot of my stories are based on experiences I've had and things I've seen," she said

"Even though I am palagi but I have lived here a long time and I observer a lot and I take things and I just write down what I see and what I hear.

"Some of my stories are based on the village, some of them are based in New Zealand.

"Everyone has their story to tell and this is my story through my eyes and my experiences but I hope children can relate to it."

The book will be available in both English and Samoan.

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