Meet Jovia Prem, Melbourne’s young prolific author

By Indira Laisram
Jovia Prem

Though little and just eight years of age, Jovia Prem has a lot going for her. For one, in the year of the pandemic, she has already published two books with the third about to be released this December.

It is not hard to guess where this exuberant, expansive mind comes from. Jovia, according to her father Prem Nair, devours books. She started reading as early as from the time she turned five. “She reads so much that we have to warn her about limiting her reading time,” he says, with a laugh.

But most of all, Jovia, a Grade III student of St Jude’s Primary school, Langwarrin, is a storyteller. While most parents are accustomed to telling their children bedtime stories, with Jovia it has always been the other way round, recalls Prem. “She would always ask, ‘can I tell you a story before bedtime?’ She will then ask for a subject or a word around which to weave a story and then start making it up without any hiccups.”

And there were other things that the Nairs—Prem and Suma—observed about their daughter. She was always coming up with some form of writing and showing sparks of creativity—be it in her school writing assignments or even in the ordinary letter writing exchanges with friends.

Jovia Prem

That was when they decided to give her a laptop. Jovia wasted no time and started keying in small notes and blogs and it upped her interest to write longer stories. It would result in two books this year.

Her first book The Dragon Fairy was published this July. For someone who is fan of the Harry Potter series, one would assume this to be a canny narrative choice to write on. But Jovia clarifies that the book was not inspired by Harry Potter although she is a big fan of its author J K Rowling. In fact, it was while playing a game on fairies and dragons that she thought it would be nice to write about then.

“The Dragon Fairy is about a fairy Driana who is not like all other fairies. There are many different types of fairies, water fairies, pollen fairies, nature fairies, wind fairies, and many more. However, Driana is a rare type of dragon fairy, and the book is about her adventures with her friends. She travels across the fairy empire to look for the sister she thinks she has,” explains Jovia.

After writing the first book, she liked the idea of a mini-series. “So, I started to write the second book as soon as I finished the first,” says Jovia.

Jovia Prem

So Driana in Lava Land, her second book, is a sequel to The Dragon Fairy and was published in August. In this, Driana and her fairy friends have yet another eventful adventure and this time in Lava Land.

Spoiler alert: A mystery about the Lava land is about to unravel in this race-against-time mission and along the way they make a new friend.

Jovia admits she really loves writing about dragon fairies and has started writing a third book linked to this series. However, her third book coming out in December is not linked to the dragon fairy series.

Her third book Cathy’s Travel Diary, she reveals, “is about a girl and her father travelling to three countries in the world and when they come back, Christmas is about to come and the house is nicely decorated.” Descriptively simple, but why not.

Jovia Prem

Talking to this young author, one is struck by her maturity and articulate self. It is fairy clear that she spends time to write, re-write and read. On her first book, Jovia says she spent a few months completing it but the second book took lesser time.

With her third book though, she spent around four months doing research and learning about different countries and their landmarks.

Her parents helped her with the production of the books and even building her website. “It’s a bit of an encouragement from our side,” says Prem.

The books are self-published, says Prem, and are available on Amazon.

Asked if she has any other hobbies apart from reading and writing, Jovia says she has started knitting a bit and is also a singer.

On the cusp of turning nine, this young author has a word or two for her peers and others. She says the world of books is magical as it transports you to different worlds. “I want to tell kids like me that you don’t have to read as much but reading is a really good thing. It opens both sides of your brains—the creative mind and the practical mind.”

Young readers are lucky to have a writer like Jovia who gives them realms to inhabit.

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