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Podcast People: Danielle Davis

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a certified or verbatim transcript, but rather represents only the context of the class or meeting, subject to the inherent limitations of real-time captioning. The primary focus of real-time captioning is general communication access and as such this document is not suitable, acceptable, nor is it intended for use in any type of legal proceeding.

Podcast People: Discussion between Danielle Davis and Studio City Library Podcast People

[Music intro]

DANIELLA: Hello everyone! You’re listening to the Studio City Library Podcast People. Today we're here with a special guest Danielle Davis author of the children's book Zinnia and the Bees.

CYRUS: Hi my name is Cyrus. Why did you choose bees as your, like, topic?

DANIELLE DAVIS: I love that question Cyrus. I think it started with the idea of a person with bees all around their head. That’s where the bees came from, And then at the time I was interested in bees because colony collapse disorder was something that was in the news a lot and it's still happening, where bee colonies are just sort of dying off and it was this mysterious thing so I felt like the bees kind of needed their own voice.

CYRUS: Oh okay, thanks.

KASSI: My name is Kassi and I'm 13 and my question is will there be an audiobook?

DANIELLE DAVIS: The answer is no, not that I know of. Maybe we can make that happen? No, I don’t think so. [laughs].

SEBASTIEN: My name is Sebastien, and I was wondering if there's going to be another book.

DANIELLE DAVIS: Sebastien I have the same news for you that I did for Kassi. And did you mean another Zinnia and the Bees?


DANIELLE DAVIS: There’s not going to be a sequel. There are either sequels or stand-alones, and this one was a stand-alone.


ZAREK: My name is Zarek, and my question is what inspired you to create this book?

DANIELLE DAVIS: What inspired me to create this book? That’s such a good question. So it started with this image of someone with…a girl…with these bees all around her head, and at the time my partner is an artist, and so he thought that was a good image that embody anxiety and worries actually. Because I was going through a period of anxiety, and it can kind of feel like bees buzzing all around your head and so I loved that image and I wanted to know more about who is this person with bees around their head, and then also who are the bees and how did they get there.

EVA: Hi my name is Eva and my question is why did you want to name her Zinnia?

DANIELLE DAVIS: Why did I want to name her Zinnia? Why did you think I would want to name her Zinnia?

EVA: Well cuz you said it was a flower name but I was wondering if it was like the specific flower that you liked?

DANIELLE DAVIS: Oh! So zinnias, yes zinnia is a flower, not everyone knows that, and zinnias, in particular, are flowers that bees really like. There’s also a thing in the book about Adam and Zinnia, So Adam is her older brother, and I like that idea of A and Z, or A to Z, that they had all the letters of the alphabet.

EVA: Thank you.

LAUREN: So my name's Lauren, and I'm the children's librarian here at Studio City Library, and my question was my favorite character was Birch. And I want to know, what do you think his purpose was? Did you know what his purpose was in the story as you were writing it, or did you discover his purpose as you were writing, because while I was reading it I thought… not that he was taking the place of Adam her older brother, but I thought he almost did, kind of, because Adam was her…her rock and a friend, and Birch became that for her throughout the story. So I was wondering, how you feel about that? Do you feel like he was...Birch was almost a replacement for her older brother Adam.

DANIELLE DAVIS: I like this question! And I also love Birch. I don't know exactly, but for sure… for one thing in a story, you can't have the character who's alone all the time. Right? And Zinnia’s kind of a loner, so I knew that she was going to need somebody in her life and I knew that she was gonna need somebody in her life who challenged her, and so I came up with Birch. And his function in the story, to me, it is to be that friend that everyone needs, and so, he's so loyal and so persistent, and she's like so resistant to him at the beginning. And so eventually he's the catalyst for her learning to trust both herself and other people. So it's sort of like a feedback loop. She starts to trust Birch just a little bit, and she trusts herself that she can handle problems, that she can survive without Adam always there for her, and then she kind of trusts her tour and takes more steps toward him and step away, and so I think that… I think that the point of the story really is that Zinnia really finds a home in yourself and learns that she can handle things even when they're not perfect. And Birch helps her feel that way. Because I think, we all at one point or another need a friend who can help us believe that.

LAUREN: Thank You Danielle for spending time with us. We really appreciate your time!

CYRUS: My name is Cyrus. Birch is too nosy, I mean like, he's kind of keeping Zinnia annoyed sometimes. Which is like… it's like an obstacle! Yes it is!

DANIELLE DAVIS: Yeah, Birch is an obstacle to Zinnia wanting to be a loner, right? But I think that he does that because he is really in need of a friend himself. And so he's kind of going to stop…I mean, he's never gonna stop at nothing, he's just gonna keep trying. I didn't want him to be nosy or rude, I just wanted him to be persistent. Because I think someone like Zinnia needs that kind of persistence. But, if you thought he was too nosy, I get that.

CYRUS: Okay. [laughs]

ZAREK: My name is Zarek. What was the purpose of the bees?

DANIELLE DAVIS: What was the purpose of the bees? Do you mean their purpose in the story?


DANIELLE DAVIS: Like for themselves? Okay. So the bees I think like Zinnia were actually searching for home, but Zinnia was looking for like a home in herself, and more of a metaphorical home. Whereas the bees were really searching for a place to call home. Initially, they were looking for freedom because they've been on that truck… and that's a real thing that bees go around on trucks to pollinate all kids of fruits and vegetables, and so, they search for the kind of freedom that their ancestors had, and so as soon as they have a chance they make a break for it. And they were looking for a home, but they just didn’t know how to find a proper one. As you know in the end, they do, find a home, and it's sort of a symbiotic thing with Zinnia.

CYRUS: Uh, my name is Cyrus, and do you yarn bomb?

DANIELLE DAVIS: That's an excellent question. So I took a class in crocheting, but I wasn't great at it. But the beauty of yarn bombing is that you could do it without actually knowing how to knit and crochet. You can't do like a really sophisticated, complicated one that way, but I have done a yarn bomb where we got permission from the park, and a bunch of kids and I made pom-poms. So we wrapped this tree at the park with this Ranger allowed us to wrap it, and we hung all our pom-poms all over it. So technically that was a yarn bomb. So yeah, that’s the only yarn bomb I’ve ever done.

CYRUS: Okay.

DANIELLE DAVIS: Thanks for reading the book everybody!

[Music outro]

GROUP SPEAKERS: This is Podcast People signing off from Studio City Library!

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a certified or verbatim transcript, but rather represents only the context of the class or meeting, subject to the inherent limitations of real-time captioning. The primary focus of real-time captioning is general communication access and as such this document is not suitable, acceptable, nor is it intended for use in any type of legal proceeding.