Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet the Authors - Sowmya Rajendran

Karadi interviews Sowmya Rajendran, the author of our latest title: The Dog Who Wanted More: A Rulebreakers' Club Adventure.

Karadi: What made you take up children’s writing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a children’s writer? 
Sowmya: It wasn't a conscious decision to write for children. I've been blogging for many years now and a publisher who had newly entered the market wrote to me asking if I wanted to write children's books for them. Niveditha Subramaniam, my friend from college, and I had already discussed writing and illustrating children's stories together among other things, so we worked on this project as a team.
Being a children's writer is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. You have to be careful about what you say but you can't be so careful that you become a crashing bore. Children are honest readers and they will not read you if you are not interesting - that kind of genuine feedback is very useful to a writer! I also think writing for children has freed me of many writing constraints. The obvious disadvantage is that it doesn't pay. You can't pay your bills being a full-time children's writer in India.

Karadi: Do you have to like children to be a good children’s author?
Sowmya: Not necessarily. But you have to like many of those wonderful characteristics that most children and some lucky adults have. The ability to imagine, make leaps of faith, enjoy a funny joke, celebrate nonsense, feel kinship with non-human creatures and objects, be sensitive to the world around you. I was never the type of person who went around kissing random babies (I have exhibited this tendency after my daughter came along though!) but I've always enjoyed writing for children. And I also happen to like adults who can still enjoy a good children's book. 

Karadi: What do you like to read? What are your favourite children’s books? Who are your favourite authors?
Sowmya: My favourite books are all ones in which I've learned something about my fellow humans that I had not realized earlier. They are books that have made me understand and like the world around me a little more. This doesn't mean they are books with happy endings or that they are comedies. Some of these books are quite dark, even tragic, but they have taught me well. My favourite authors are JD Salinger, Zadie Smith, RK Narayan, Virginia Woolf, Marjane Satrapi.
My favourite children's books are No, David! by David Shannon, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, The Seed by Deepa Balsavar, Puffin Peter by Petr Horacek....there are so many! And I've only mentioned picture books.

Karadi: Do you follow a writing routine? How do you go about writing a story?
Sowmya: My current writing routine is my daughter's nap-time routine! I write when she sleeps - for about three hours a day.
Sometimes the story comes easily - an idea that comes from something someone said or did. Then, I just get started with the idea and allow the story to flow as I write. Sometimes, I work out the plot beforehand and write. Especially when I'm writing on a tight deadline or writing for a certain purpose - for instance, I write many picture books and illustrated stories for children for education programs, so there, I have to submit my ideas, get approval and then work on them. It's more clearly defined. 

Karadi: What are you currently working on?
Sowmya: I'm working on a graphic novel for young adults for Penguin. It's a funny, possibly feminist, take on romance as the movies show it and romance as it is in real life. I'm also working on a collection of short stories for adults.

The Dog Who Wanted More
 is the first book in the exciting four-part Rulebreakers' Club adventure series by Sowmya Rajendran and Arun Kumar Kaushik, and it can be purchased on www.karaditales.com. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Karadi Tales Launches its Very First Middle Grade Title!

We are launching our very first Middle Grade Title - The Dog Who Wanted More; the first book in the exciting four-part Rulebreakers’ Club series, written by the popular children’s author, Sowmya Rajendran and illustrated by Arun Kumar Kaushik.

The first copy of the book will be received by Shreekumar Varma, the well-known playwright and novelist. There will also be a book reading by Sowmya and Arun, and a fun Q&A session for the kids.

Do save the date! But before that, watch the trailer of 'The Dog Who Wanted More here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZmCW-7gsYc&feature=youtu.be

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Vani Foundation Fellowship for Children's Authors and Illustrators

Here's some good news (from GBO, New Delhi) for aspiring children's writers and illustrators:

"The Vani Foundation will award Fellowships each of Rs. 20,000 to two writers and two illustrators of children’s books at Jumpstart 2014. The winners also get to attend a Jumpstart 2014 Masterclass.

Fellowship Mentors:
Gulzar Sahib - poet, filmmaker and Academy award winning lyricist
Paro Anand - renowned children’s author

Application guidelines:
Submissions are invited from writers in Hindi, English and other Indian languages.
One of the two awards for writers will be allocated to a Hindi language writer.

Please submit previously unpublished work

Please label your work under one of the following themes:
Fantasy, ghost and monster stories
Reality Fiction
Graphic novels and Comic books (5 – 6 layouts)

Please categorize your content based on the age group
4 years – 8 years
9 years – 12 years (Tweens)
13 years – 16 years (Young Adults)

Short stories submitted will have to be the complete unpublished work.

The word limit for longer works of fiction/ non-fiction is 2000 words. Please include a synopsis.

Please email your submissions to fellowship.w@jumpstartfest.com


Please submit five previously published or unpublished illustrations.

Please email your submissions to fellowship.i@jumpstartfest.com.

The deadline for submissions is 06:00 am, Monday, Aug 18, 2014."

For further information, write to questions@vanifoundation.org.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

RIP Pran

Eminent cartoonist Pran, who gave us the evergreen Chacha Chaudhary and Saboo, passed away yesterday. In his fond remembrance, here are a few facts about the cartoonist and his comics:

  • Pran has published over 400 comic books and 200,000 drawings for his comics, and over 30 newspapers and periodicals carry his comic strips.
  • Lotpot magazine, for which Chacha Chaudhary was initially created, is still in production with over 1,75,000 copies of the Hindi version and over 2,25,000 copies of the English version in circulation. 
  • Two episodes of Chacha Chaudhary have been acquired by International Museum of Cartoon Arts, USA.

  • Saboo’s diet comprises of 108 chapatis, 20 liters of lassi and 12 kg of halwa in every meal!
  • Rocket, Chacha Chaudhary’s pet dog, is the only vegetarian dog in the world.
  • Chacha Chaudhary has a twin brother Chajju Chaudhary who was once abducted and taken to Mars by aliens, mistaking him to be Chacha Chaudhary!

(Facts Courtesy: http://yourstory.com/2014/08/pran-chacha-chaudhary/)