Art imitating life: An interview with children's storyteller Dr Tamara Pizzoli

Tamara has already written five books, including The Ghanaian Goldilocks, and is embarking on a film project and a scripted series. In this final instalment she gets creative and gives a hat tip to two of Ghana's rising stars.

Kofi and Clifford in the kitchen
 The English Schoolhouse. image credit: Howell Edwards Creative
MB: You are a bit of a globetrotter and this seems to be reflected in your books. Where do you plan to (a) visit next and (b) where would you like to go if time, space and money were no barriers?

TP: Ooooh, this is such a good question, particularly part b. Next I plan on visiting New York in early April. But I’m also open to Milan or Marrakech for a weekend before then.

As far as where I’d like to go if time, space and money weren’t to be taken into consideration:
-To my childhood with my sister, to make mud pies and eat popsicles and have her chase me with the vacuum cleaner.
-In the air, seated on the edge of a very fluffy cloud.
-To check on my sister and my other loved ones in the afterlife…just to pop in and say hi and catch up. I wouldn’t wanna stay too long right now.
-To a really beautiful beach in a tropical environment…somewhere really warm. With a cocktail, a great book and wonderful conversation watching my babies play in the water.

BS: Sounds magical!
So what more can you tell us about your forthcoming film?
TP: As far as the film goes, I’m so excited. Can’t tell too much right now but there’s going to be a lot of continuity. So many of the same beautiful friends I’m so blessed to have from the book and the audiobook will also be in the film. Also, Ghanaian-American YouTube star Clifford Owusu has signed on for a pretty big role in it. Love that guy and his videos and am thankful to call him a friend.

 MB: And you mentioned a soundtrack?
TP: Yep. That’s a project that’s wrapping up right now. I asked musicians from all over the world to get inspired by 'The Ghanaian Goldilocks' story and create or lend their talent accordingly. Most of the songs were created specifically for the project. I can only think of one that existed prior to it. 'The Ghanaian Goldilocks' album will serve as background music for the film.
MB: And according to a past interview, you mentioned that in March you will start a scripted series about Black Girls in Rome. There's been huge success with An African City series by US-Ghanaian writer Nicole Amarteifio, (see MisBeee Writes 18 May, 26 October 2014) which she models on Sex and the City. Will Black Girls in Rome take some inspiration from Sex and the City?

TP: Yeah, I love Nicole’s show. She’s been super supportive of my books as well, which I appreciate so much, but no, my show isn’t based on Sex and the City at all.
My show is about five Black women from Texas making a decision to live abroad in Rome and carve out a beautiful existence while travelling this very unexpected, different, at times bumpy cobblestoned ancient road that is the eternal city.
It’s a show about leaping. And soaring!

A big thanks to Tamara for being so open and sharing. If you missed the previous instalments, please click here for the first and here for the second. 

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