One day, she realized the perfect country of her dreams was nothing but a chimera, so she decided that it didn’t matter where she lived anymore, as long as there was love around her, sunshine inside her head and ice cream in her fridge.
She has been growing her own personal portable sun in a tiny garden in the back of her head for years, and now wishes to share it with the world. In this way, she hopes to come across many other people’s personal portable suns. People, just like her, who are also human beings living on Earth and trying to grow their own stars to light their path.
Other than that, C.J. Lefebvre is a graphic designer and the illustrator behind Tall N Curly, a comic blog started in 2012 that’s followed by over 120,000 humans around the globe (most of them sun farmers too) and behind Zabeth, my life as a vampire, a website about bullying and being different.
The story behind the book
Ok, so now I guess I can stop speaking in the third person. Thank the gods!
The Spiritz, which is the idea at the heart of the book, were born around ten years ago. The idea grew for a long time, as I wanted to write a story about concepts and values that I strongly believe in or have always fascinated me: the power of your mind over your own life and over the lives of others; the importance of believing, no matter what it is you believe in; hope; the endless battle between opposing forces in the world; the importance of finding balance; the healing power of meditation; the mystery of death; reincarnation; what goes around comes around and karma…
I knew it would be the story of a little girl, because I’m still a girl. Although some wiser souls would call me a woman by now, in my heart, I’m still like Asha, a little girl with big eyes and big dreams, who simply won’t let go of them.
I wanted to tell the story of a smart, brave, yet lonely girl, who would have to fight to make people listen to the story her heart was telling. She quickly became tangible as I could easily relate to her (because I’m so smart too), but as I got to know her more everyday, I then had to decide where my story would take place. And that part came very quickly.
I’ve always had a deep fascination for India, that grew even stronger after I visited that amazing country. In a past life, I must have been Indian. I love its culture and spirit, its religion and mythology, its music, dancing and singers, and I love its strong and beautiful women. So it was a perfect coincidence (such things don’t exist, right?) that someone thinking about karma, reincarnation and meditation would immediately picture themselves in India. And that’s what I did.
Then, of course, I got a little scared of writing about a country I know so much about in theory, but not so much in practice.
If I was Pixar or Disney and possessed even half a billionth of their budgets, I would have traveled across India for weeks before even starting writing. I would have also hired Indian history-religion-society experts, but I don’t have that kind of budget. So I read. A lot.
I read everything about India for three months before writing one line. Although I did my very best and paid attention to every detail, I hope that if I have made any mistakes, that they are tiny and forgivable. Also, I consciously took some liberties with a few details for the purposes of my story.
I just hope that Indians who read this book will be gentle with me and try to remember that I was humbly trying to intertwine my story with the elements and settings of a country I deeply love and admire.
Learn more about the author in this video: