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Maddie Ziegler talks makeup, following your dreams and her new book

No doubt you know Maddie Ziegler as one of the stars of Dance Moms, the star of Sia's music videos and a memoirist. But *now* this talented chica is adding another title to her list of hyphenates: novelist!

The Audition, the first book in Maddie's chapter book series, follows the story of twelve-year-old Harper, a successful competitive dancer in her hometown in Connecticut. But everything for Harper changes when her parents announce that their family is relocating to Florida. Harper is forced to leave her school, her friends, her home and her dance team. In the sunshine state, the dance competition is at a whole new level, and as the new girl, Harper has to prove herself. Harper is up against a totally new environment, a new dance team that's not exactly welcoming, plus a group of mean girls who call themsleves The Bunheads. Harper befriends another dance-team newbie, Lily, and the team prepares for a big competition, where Harper plans to show everyone her talent. However, a disaster threatens to throw off the whole team's routine, which will force Harper, Lily and The Bunheads to work together as a team to take on the competition.

We chatted with Maddie about the book, her writing process and the one creative endevour she's dying to take on next.

Girls' Life: We're so stoked for The Audition! Are there any specific experiences from your own life that you were able to draw from to write the book?
Maddie Ziegler: "Harper, the main character, is kinda like me in a way. She's so passionate about dance and she's so dedicated that she'd do anything for it. She has to face a lot of girls who pushed her down and told her she's not good enough, and I've had similar experiences in the past." 

GL: Writing a book is no easy feat! What do you do to decompress or chill when you're taking breaks from writing?
MZ: "It sounds werid, but I just walk around. When you're writing, you're literally just sitting there and your head is down and your shoulders are hunched. You start to get sore! If you walk around and take a deep breath or go for a little jog, that will help you get loose."

GL: Why do you think reading is important for teen and tween girls?
MZ: "Reading gets your mind working. When I'm reading, I have my imagination turned on and I feel like I'm a part of the story. It's so fun to live that story and make life like a fairy tale."   

GL: What are your plans for Halloween? Do you have a costume picked out?
MZ: "You're going to think I'm very lame, but I don't ahve a costume for Halloween! I've been watching a lot of Halloween makeup tutorials lately, though. I actually recreated look from IT, which was really fun. I have a full drawer in my makeup vanity dedicated to face paint. It's fun! I really want to start experimenting more with special effects makeup."

GL: Speaking of all the things you're doing, what is it you think you will conquer next?
MZ: "My main focus for sure is continuing with my dancing and acting, but I've been obsessed with makeup my entire life. I think it would be cool to create my own makeup line, especially for teens, because there's a lot of makeup palettes that come out that are amazing, but they're a little too dramatic for teens and girls who just want to experiment with makeup and wear it to school."

GL: What Advice do you have for girls who want to get started writing?
MZ: "Becoming a writer is not necessarily making sure you have the right technique or technology, but it's really just having imagination and letting those ideas flow. Go with your gut and don't let anyone push you down. Your ideas are amazing." 

GL: What do you hope your fans get out of reading the book?
MZ: "I hope this book inspires young girls and boys who want to continue to dance or have big dreams, because nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. If there are people telling you that you can't and you start to believe them, you'll lose confidence. But if you stick to your guts and believe in yourself, you'll achieve it."

Catch Maddie's book The Audition on shelves this Halloween! You don't want to miss this amazing story about growing up, following your dreams, friendship and dance. 

What's your favorite book at the moment? Let us know in the comments below! 

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by Linda Horn | 10/27/2017
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