In kindergarten, Lucine had three dreams.
- To be a dancer.
- To be an artist.
- To go to Armenia - the land of her ancestors.
She realized the first dream: At age 4, Lucine joined the Nayiri Armenian Folk Dance Group of New York. She also performed Armenian folk dances, in costume, for her classes every year in elementary school. She went on to become a soloist with the Nayiri Dance Group.
She realized the second dream: Lucine drew pictures every day, was voted "class artist" several grades in a row, and studied in art schools. She went on to become a political cartoonist.
And she realized the third dream: Since childhood, Lucine was involved in Armenian-American community life, practicing and studying Armenian traditions. She was named valedictorian of her graduating class in Armenian school, and, at age 14 received a scholarship to visit Armenia. Since then, Lucine has traveled and worked there many times.
When, in all of this, did Lucine decide to become a writer?
Not for a long time. Sure, since the fourth grade, she kept a diary, and wrote letters to friends. She especially liked producing illustrated reports for school. Still, Lucine didn't think about a career in writing.
As a teen, Lucine submitted a cartoon she drew to the New Jersey newspaper, The Bergen Record, as a social commentary. The editors liked it and asked her if they could publish the concept, with the newspaper's staff artist producing the cartoon. She agreed and received her first paycheck for cartooning work. During this time, Lucine also gained writing and publishing experience contributing articles to The Armenian Weekly, an English-language newspaper serving the Armenian-American community.
After high school, Lucine was accepted into New York University and lived in Greenwich Village. She was still undecided about her career path. In fact, Lucine entered the Communications Department only to transfer to the Art Department only to transfer back to the Communications Department!
After her first year of college, Lucine's parents worried that she might become a "starving artist" for the rest of her life. They made her an offer: that she transfer to the Journalism Department and that if she still wanted to go to art school after graduation, they would enroll her. It was after she began studying journalism at NYU that her desire to become a writer took shape.
In college, Lucine served as president of the NYU Armenian Club, and, as a graduation gift from her parents, worked in Kessab, Syria, with the Land & Culture Organization (LCO) to rebuild Armenian monuments. The experience reinforced her desire to preserve the lands and culture of her ancestors and draw attention to the plight of her people.
After college, Lucine worked for book publishers, promoting books and publicizing authors, and as a writer and editor for a number of magazines in New York City.
During summers, Lucine led LCO volunteer groups to renovate monuments in Armenia. After several trips there and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Lucine wrote her first book,
Armenia: A Rugged Land, an Enduring People (Dillon Press/Simon & Schuster.)
Since then, Lucine has devoted her time to promoting books, writing, making art, and caring for her family. Publishing her new book, The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale (Marshall Cavendish), allowed her to honor her ancestors by retelling a fable that had been passed down in her family for generations. To learn more about Lucine's published works, visit the Books link on this website. Still more articles by Lucine are available in her archive (Please note that some material there relating to the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides may be too graphic for children.) You may view her political cartoons here.
Lucine and her husband, fellow Armenian-American writer, David B. Boyajian, live and work in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Lucine encourages anyone who likes to write or draw to create something new every day. The more we focus on the crafts we love, she says, the more skilled we will become. We may even discover new dreams that we'd like to realize, and find that the things we enjoy doing can turn into a career.
To contact Lucine for a media interview or school visit, please email her. Before emailing her a question, please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section listed below to see if she has already answered it. And be sure to visit her Resource page for information and opportunities relating to publishing.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Tomato red.
Q: What is your favorite food?
Q: Do you have a dog?
A: No, but my husband and I love them, and like to watch the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: From history, current events, dreams (and nightmares) and the world around me.
Q: Where can I find out more about your family background and childhood?
A: You can read my interview with Cobblestone magazine here.
Q: How do you pronounce your first name?
A: Lucine means "moon" in Armenian, and is pronounced Lu-scene (not Lu-cinÚ or Lu-cineÚ). I was named after my grandmother.
Q: Where can I see more of your work?
A: You can visit my article and cartoon archive here: http://armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=Lucine_Kasbarian.
Q: Would you speak at our school or venue?
A: I do accept invitations and can be emailed at: editorATlucinekasbarianDOTcom. Before inviting me, please consult the following link: http://childrensbooks.about.com/cs/visits/ht/authorvisit.htm.
You may also visit author Dan Gutman's website for even more details on preparing for school visits.
Q: What advice would you give me to get published?
A: You will find a lot of tips on the Resources page of my website.
Q: Would you help me write my book report, my family memoir, or critique and edit my manuscript?
A: Sorry, I cannot, or else there would be no time left for my own writing and editing. However, you can locate excellent book doctors, editors-for-hire, ghostwriters and writers' groups who offer these services by consulting the Literary MarketPlace (LMP). Details appear in the Resources section of my website.
Q: Would you introduce me to editors so I can get published, too?
A: Sorry, I'm not an agent. My Resources page, however, provides tips on how to approach agents, editors and publishers.
Q: Would you share your publishing contacts with me?
A: The best way for you to make contacts is to establish relationships by attending some of the industry gatherings listed on my Resources page.
Q: Where can I find the (Greedy) Sparrow's song in Armenian, "Dzenkele, Menkele, Dziv Dziv"?
A: It's available in a 3-CD set called Parsegh Ganatchian: Complete Works.
Q: Who designed the postage stamps of Armenian national costumes, featured on this website?
A: The artist's name is Rouben Ghevondian.