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Q and A... Chitra Soundar

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

A: This one is easy, I wanted to be a teacher.

 

Q: What are you afraid of?

A: creepy-crawlies and snakes. As a child and even now sometimes I get nightmares about creepy-crawlies eating me little by little.

 

Q: What’s your favourite colour?

A: Burnt orange like the setting sun over the ocean.

 

Q: What is your favourite possession?

A: I’m a hoarder – I have so many things that I have kept for more than three decades. But my favourite one has to be a book of poems I wrote when I was 12.

 

Q: How long have you been a writer?

A: About twelve years as a published writer. My first book came out in 2003. But as a writer – since I was 12 I think. Before that I used to be a storyteller – never wrote any of those down.

 

Q: Do you write by hand or on the computer?

A: Both actually – the first few chapters are always by hand in a special notebook using my favourite pens. Then I type them up and continue on the computer.

 

Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with?

A: I think Farmer Falgu – although Veera & Suku and Balu all my characters have bits of me. Falgu is like me in many ways – he’s always positive and turning difficulties into opportunities.

 

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

A: Indian culture, mythology and folktales – they inspire me to imagine, and

Museums – especially the Natural History Museum.

 

Q: What sort of books do you write?

A: I write picture books and fiction for young people from three to nine years old.

 

Q: Which writers/illustrators would you have on your dream team and why?

A: Oooh! Can I have Ruskin Bond (who writes fabulous ghost stories),

Priya Kurien who illustrated my book Where’s Gola’s Home and is a great caricaturist

and my most favourite illustrator of Falgu books - Kanika Nair for her wonderful use of colour and bold strokes.

 

Q: I loved writing this bit...

 

As a response to Carl Sandberg’s poem Fog

 

Storm

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The storm comes,

trumpeting and mad.

It lashes down

over thatched roofs and mud huts

with its pounding feet

and then moves on.

 

 

Chitra copy PantherRoom