Good afternoon everyone!
A double treat for you this Sunday! It’s my stop on the Aziza’s Secret Fairy Door blog tour and author Lola Morayo is here to tell you all about the characters in her brilliant new book!
An introduction to the cast of Aziza’s Secret Fairy Door!
Names are important in a story. For the longest time in my head Aziza was called Mia. Mia is a perfectly lovely name but I wanted something that sounded magical and unforgettable because that is what this character was to me.
When I read about the aziza fairy creatures that appear in West African mythology, whilst doing my research, I knew that I had the perfect name. This little girl would be named Aziza – this name is one of the many golden threads that weave together to form part of her cultural heritage and is also a nod to her absolute fascination with all fairies.
So let me introduce you properly to everyone!
Aziza is seven, and a natural leader and fantastic friend. She enjoys having adventures and has a strong sense of right and wrong from her family’s obsession with superheroes – but Aziza has always preferred fairies, and has read all of the Fairy Power book series. When in her fairy form in Shimmerton, she has orange and black butterfly wings. Her catchphrase is Glittersticks!
The name Aziza comes from the name of a race of fairies in West African folktales, specifically the Dahomey tribe. The Aziza are very friendly and often helpful but can be quite shy. They live in the forest in silk cotton trees, have insect wings, and are very connected with nature.
Peri is an actual fairy princess, as her parents are King and Queen of Shimmerton, though her dress is often torn and her tiara missing, as it slows her down. She finds being a princess boring and sometimes a bit lonely, but she loves Shimmerton and gets very annoyed by the Gigglers who are always causing trouble. She’s great at thinking outside the box, a ball of energy, sometimes blurts things out without thinking, and a bit of a joker. She’s very protective of her friends.
The name Peri comes from a Persian type of fairy that has feathers like a bird, the same as Peri. Peris, (or sometimes Pari) are mostly benevolent but can get up to some mischief! They often appear in Persian epic poems or romances.
Tiko is a unique shapeshifter original inspired by a mischievous water sprite from South African mythology. When we were creating Tiko, the sweetness of his personality and his rendering as a teddy bear by Cory Reid– the fabulous illustrator on this series has taken him far far away from the original source material . He’s entirely his own unique creature which means we get to make up his whole mythology! He has been friends with Peri since they were babies. He comes up to Peri’s shoulder and is covered in light brown fur, and looks a lot like a bear – though don’t tell him that!
He’s not very confident in his shapeshifting, and can often be identified by his twitching nose, even when in disguise. Strong and gentle, he’s often quite nervous. His catchphrase is ‘Oh, furballs!’ when he’s frustrated. He is very loyal to Peri and Aziza.
Kendra is our main trickster and leader of the Gigglers – a groups of friends who all live on Giggleswick Street. She’s a blue haired fairy with blue, green and gold beetle wings. She’s very focused on getting what she wants – usually shiny things or charms for her bracelet – even if that means breaking rules.
She’s also a bit of an inventor and has built herself a set of boosters with cogs and wheels from the Zoragami’s workshop so she can fly even faster – handy for a quick getaway! She likes to make up mottos like ‘Finders Keepers, never mind weepers’.
Felly has moth wings and can be a bit grumpy with Kendra, and loves to sing – though her voice isn’t as good as she thinks.
Noon has a pink afro made up of springy coils, and isn’t afraid to call Kendra out when she’s not being fair. Noon LOVES the beach!
A massive thanks to Lola for sharing all this amazing information about her characters! I love finding out stuff like this – the behind the scenes that we wouldn’t normally get to see!
Check out the rest of the blog tour – details below!
Aziza is out NOW. Go treat yourself to a copy!