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
The storm comes,
trumpeting and mad.
It lashes down
over thatched roofs and mud huts
with its pounding feet
and then moves on.