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What are you working on now?

Please check the main page for the projects I’m working on and their progress.

What is your writing routine?

I work best in the mornings and usually try to put in a couple of hours of work before my day job begins. In the evening, I answer emails, do research, critique manuscripts for friends, or catch up on my reading and social media commitments.
If I’m on a deadline, I’ll put in a couple more hours of work in the evening, too.
I work most weekends and occasionally take Saturday off.

What aspect of being a writer is hard?

The glacial pace at which things move in this industry.
Even though it’s hard, I’m happiest when I’m creating something out of nothing. The journey is the reward, even if the book takes forever to be published.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere! From real life situations, conversations, books, travel and the news.
If you keep an open mind, ideas will come to roost.

How did you start writing?

When my father passed away in 2003, I was devastated. It was the first time I’d 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 fascinating and if woven through a fast-paced plot, makes a great story! 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?

Anything and everything that caught my fancy. I was in trouble with my school librarian, often, 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 every day 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)
Childrens Writers and Illustrators BC (CWILL BC)
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

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