Lisa Caprelli Talks Unicorn Jazz Book Series
Lisa Caprelli was born in El Paso, Texas and saw education as a way to rise above her humble beginnings. The first in her family to earn a college degree, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Psychology. Her love of writing led her to pen 17 books for which she has won many awards. Seeing a lack of books for children that include social emotional learning components Lisa changed her life and focus in 2018 to create the children’s brand Unicorn Jazz. The award-winning Amazon book series, Unicorn Jazz, follows a shy unicorn on adventures teaching empathy, kindness, love, belonging, and more. The success of the book series has led to the Amazon TV show Unicorn Jazz Presents The Thing I Do which Lisa both produces and directs. Inspired by Sesame Street and with the help of the multi media brand of Unicorn Jazz, kids send in their own video content, music, and talent to be part of the show. Lisa has made it her mission to make Unicorn Jazz accessible to educators to help expand children’s imaginations and inspire creativity and learning in the classroom. Lisa has been featured in Forbes Magazine, ABC News, CBS News, USA Today, and many more for her innovation and creativity in the children’s market. When not working, Lisa devotes her time to such charities as Read Across America as well as book drives at the LA Food Bank, Orphanages in Vegas and Haiti, and children’s hospitals.
HELLO LISA, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! IT’S A PRIVILEGE FOR ALL OF US TO KNOW ABOUT YOU, TELL US A LITTLE BIT OF YOUR BACKGROUND. HOW DID YOU END UP WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and come from a large, loving Hispanic family. My mom was a single mother and I was the middle child of five kids. My grandmother had a 3rd grade education because she was forced to drop out of school to raise her family when her mother passed away. Grandma was so influential in my life as she was the type of woman who believed in you, and she encouraged us all to get an education. I was the straight A, geeky, shy kid. I used my introverted time of “not talking” to watch, observe and learn as much as I could.
I moved to California at age 29 and immediately became an entrepreneur. I have had different businesses and before I became a full-time children’s author and speaker, I owned a marketing and public relations boutique agency. By this time I had worked with over 160 CEO’s and leaders to help turn their business into success in various ways. I am grateful for my multi-faceted life experience including hosting live FM/AM radio shows, podcast and the curiosity to interview many business leaders to help me become who I am today.
I went on a 3 year journey to research what makes for happiness, what would you tell your younger self, what are secrets to doing more at a younger age and so on, with my book Skip a Step: Imparting Wisdom For Young Entrepreneur Minds. It was truly through the learning and purpose filled stories of Skip a Step that I changed my life in 2018 to do what I love and to create Unicorn Jazz.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRANSITION FROM MARKETING STRATEGY CONSULTANT TO A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
After a 10+ year career in creating radio show programming and podcasts combined with my 26 years marketing career in representing over 160 CEO’s and leaders, and turning their business into meaningful brands, I wanted to live a purpose filled life to create meaning and HAPPINESS for others. I have been able to use my voice and turn them into words for kids and adults of all ages. I think that is pretty cool. w
CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW YOUR BOOK AND CURRENT PROJECTS AIMED AT INSPIRING CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT SOCIAL IMPACT?
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) teaches the importance of feelings and emotions. I think we all can become better individuals through SEL. Many schools are now mandated to include SEL for teachers to better teach students. I believe that we are all UNIQUE and are supposed to be. It is therefore important to celebrate our interests and respect each other’s viewpoints and perspectives. I write Unicorn Jazz stories to provide the opportunity for kids of all ages (and adults) to learn new and positive ways of looking at the world to promote happiness, communication and the power of believing in others!
YOUR BOOK, “UNICORN JAZZ,” IS MAKING THE ROUNDS; TELL US ABOUT IT AND HOW IT WILL AFFECT READERS?
Unicorn Jazz has been quoted as the most unique unicorn in the world. Unicorn Jazz in the first story, is a shy unicorn who moves to a new land in search of new friends. She feels like she doesn’t belong until she meets a crow named Woof. Her mother always believes in her ^^
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE STORY FROM YOUR BOOKS AS WELL AS FROM “THE THINGS I DO?”
I love all the Unicorn Jazz books and the unique meaning they share for readers. I do have to say that my newest book release HELP AND GIVE BACK will always have a special place in my heart. I grew up poor and felt the odds against me as a child, based on our life circumstances. Even though we were poor, we had lots of love, so we did not lack in this important area of life. I am grateful for my sisters, brother, mother and large Hispanic family I have. Without them and my relationship with God, I would not be here today. My younger sister, Ruth and I would take a bus to our local hospital. I remember the cost was 10 cents. 10 cents was a lot for us, but we took the focus off of us and enjoyed helping others less fortunate than ourselves. I truly believe we all have the ability and capability to help others. The opposite of selfish is to help others. Take the focus off of you and watch your life change. The happier you are, the more you can pour HAPPINESS into those around you. Now, that is a life worth living.
The Thing I Do Season 2 – has so many wonderful kid singers/actors who help deliver educational entertainment, including Emily Isabel, Rhett Drennen, Sofia Swade and my puppet friend, Trezekke, who is played by my 30 year old son, Matthew Vasquez, whose main career is a nurse.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW SERIES PLANNED?
Brand new is the Help and Give Back Unicorn Jazz book. It teaches children and families about the importance of community, belongingness, and knowing that our actions can make a difference in the world! Our next book in the series, is Unicorn Jazz and the Fairy Taco. This is going to have scenes that take place in El Paso, Texas, my hometown with silly twists and turns that teach the meaning of hope. My mom’s name is Esperanza, which means Hope.
I want to write a faith-based children’s series as well. These are things I wish I grew up with. I often say it is important to help children, they are our future and…after all… we were once them!
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE AN AUTHOR OF AWARD-WINNING BOOK SERIES?
I am in awe and pinch myself everyday to do what I love, and that is write. I am extremely humbled and grateful.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?