Mahtab Narsimhan

Frequently asked Questions

What made you write The Third Eye?
When my father passed away in 2003, I was devastated. It was the first time I had experienced death at such close quarters. To me, books are a perfect means to travel, to imagine, and to escape from the routine of life, which is what I did. It also helps that science fiction and fantasy are my favourite genres to read and write.

Indian Mythology is just as fascinating as European or Greek mythology, and if woven through a fast-paced plot, would make for very interesting reading. And so was born the idea of writing The Third Eye; a fantasy-adventure based in India with a generous dollop of its rich culture and mythology to spice it up.

Do you ever get writer’s block?
From time to time, I do get stuck on a manuscript. Luckily, I always have a couple of projects on the go. When I’m stuck on one, I shift gears and work on something else. In the background, my mind is still working away at the problem and after a few days, when I get back to it, I know how to move forward.

Writing an Outline for the novel helps a lot. When I know where I’m going and how the book will end, it’s easier to write the dreaded middle section.

What did you read as a child?
A lot of anything and everything that caught my fancy. I was, often, in trouble with my school librarian because we were allowed to borrow only three books at a time and somehow I managed to borrow twice that amount! It took hard work and ingenuity, but it was worth the effort.

Some of my favourite books:

  •  Eleanor Farjeon: The Little Bookroom
  •  C.S. Lewis: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
  •  Gerald Durrell: My Family and Other Animals
  •  Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach
  •  Astrid Lindgren: Pippi Longstocking
  •  Enid Blyton: The Magic Faraway Tree and Famous Five series
  •  Amar Chitra Katha : Comics with Indian Mythology and Folk Tales

Any advice for upcoming authors?

Read a lot, Write everyday if possible. Enjoy the process to publication and not just the end result of having published a book. Writing is all about re-writing and unless you passionately enjoy shaping words into a story, this profession is not for you.

Can you share some links for writers looking to get published?

The following organizations provide excellent information on how to get published as well as on the art and craft of writing.

Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP)

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

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