Every story pops to life with a very certain sense of its own identity, shape, structure and length. There are some stories that beg long descriptions and a fat, satisfying thickness. There are others that leap to life when there are vibrant pictures to go with them.
The books I’ve written are slotted, very firmly, into various groups, based, let me hasten to add, on the general readership. Although age banding does help when choosing a book for your child, I urge you to keep the reader in mind when picking books.
Stories may decide their ideal readers. But that is not to say that a reader cannot pick the story she wants to read!
These are books with a simple storyline and plenty of illustrations. Cuddle up with your child and enjoy these books that beg to be read aloud.
Writing a picture book story is a little bit like walking a tightrope because the story has to be short, funny and intelligent enough for children to like. The strangest things have inspired me to write picture book stories – making rotis, a big brown box, an umbrella, mangoes, even string!
Here’s a list of all the picture books I have written!
These are books meant for newly independent readers and present a simple storyline, with plenty of illustrations to keep the reader engaged.
Writing a story for children who have recently begun to read on their own is lovely because I get to choose the most interesting subjects to write about.
Here's a list of all my chapter books.
These books are meant for anyone who is a confident reader. It is very liberating writing for this age group, because there’s a wide range of topics to choose from.
School and friends, stories about families and animals and animals with families,
magical stories – they all work wonderfully.
I’ve had children and their adults tell me they enjoyed these books. The secret to such
universal appeal - I loved writing each of these!
Years ago, my editor asked me if I’d be interested in writing a fictional biography of Rani Lakshmibai. I had never worked on anything but fiction at that point and so, I dithered for days before saying yes. I began my research with only a very dim idea of what it entailed. I was certainly not prepared to find myself lost in the books I was reading or enjoying the research so much that I was reluctant to leave it and begin writing!
Since that first book, I have worked on other biographies, and enjoyed researching and writing each one of them.
The first time I read Dracula, it was a retelling for children and to this day, the experience of turning the pages, eager to find out what happened next, stays with me.
And that’s why, when I had the opportunity to retell the works of some of the greatest writers of India, I grabbed it. It was an experience that taught me much, both about the writers I was working with and myself.