Pika Nani 's Shrilok Homeless is Back

Shrilok Homeless is back with a new set of mysteries. Created by Pika Nani aka Deepika Murthy, the Mumbai chaiwallah  leaves for London to solve a new challenge in Shrilok Homeless The Ultimate Adventures( Penguin Random House India).  Ten short stories keep you glued  this weekend.
Pika Nani shares a slice of her writing life here.

 1. How much of your life have  you spent in Mumbai? You have covered  so many parts
of Mumbai in your book.

I grew up in Mumbai and have spent the first 25 years of my life there. I have tried to
bring in my experiences and observations of the city and its people and culture. The
plan was to have cases across the length and breadth of Mumbai in the first book,
and then in the second book, to extend to other parts of India and even abroad.
2. What has contributed to Shrilok's cool demeanour inspite of his homelessness?
Shrilok may be an orphan and a chaiwala, but he has a rare gift of observation and
deduction that sets him apart. He uses that gift to he…

The Lizard of Oz and Other Stories : A delightful book of short stories

Prize winning children's author Khyrunnisa is out with a new book for kids. Titled The Lizard of Oz and Other Stories, the book is a collection of engaging and well written humorous stories.
Khyrunnisa shares her  thoughts on this new release from Scholastic India.

1.The title is intriguing.  When and how did the title flash into you?         I love playing with words and while thinking up a story that has a lizard as the main character, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ came to my mind and changing ‘wizard’ to ‘lizard’ was but natural. This is a story that I started with only the title ready. I had to think up a suitable plot after that.  Most people are allergic to lizards and snakes. What is your equation with lizards and snakes to make them into  protagonists for your short stories ?           I wanted to write stories about animals and creatures that people aren’t very comfortable with or ones they regard as pests, like mosquito, ant, lizard, snake, rat or termite. These creatures ar…

History with Subhadra Sen Gupta

When you think of  Indian children's historical fiction, Subhadra  Sen Gupta is the first name which springs to one's mind. She has written both fiction and nonfiction historical books for all ages. I am delighted to feature the elusive Subhadra Sen Gupta on my 99th blogpost.

1.How many books have you written so far?

~~ Haven't counted in a while. Over thirty books for children plus books for adults.

2. Did you study history in college? What drew you into writing for children?

~~ Yes. I have a MA from Delhi University.
I began writing in college and then there was a wonderful children's magazine called Target and two youth magazines that encouraged young writers. Bengali literature has a tradition of writers writing in all kinds of genres. Famous novelists also have children's books and that is what I aimed for. I have done fiction and travel books for adults and have just finished one on history.

3.Writing historical books for children have been your single-minded foc…

Call for Submissions: Pickle Yolk Books

This October Pickle Yolk Books will be open to receiving submissions from authors. After publishing award winning picture books Pickle Yolk now venturing into nonfiction. Biographies to be more precise! Editor of Pickle Yolk Books, Richa Jha, shares details on the kind of stuff she is expecting to see in her mailbox. . 1.What's the word count you are looking for?
Ideal word count: under 600. But otherwise, I will not be in a position to accept any submission with a word count exceeding 1000 words.
2. Would the biographies be based on Indian or International personalities? Living or dead?
Ideally, Indian/ living/ not already done to death (E.g.: Sachin Tendulkar or Dhoni).  But an inspiring name from the recent past is fine too (from early 1900s onwards).
3. What should authors keep in mind before mailing the submissions?
a) I'd love to see stories that highlight certain inspiring aspects of a person's personality, or inspiring episodes from the person's lif…

Pickle Yolk Books: A Bouquet of Emotions

Author and editor  of Pickle Yolk books,Richa Jha, is on a roll.After winning accolades for her fiction picture books, she is venturing into a new genre.  Scroll down to read all about it.
1.It's been a long and fruitful journey with Pickle Yolk Books. So many good books and so many accolades.
Thank you! I think it’s to do with my inherent persnicketiness when it comes to anything to do with picture books. I am my own fiercest critic, whether it’s for the author in me or the editor in me or the publisher. I don’t usually rush with a book. On the contrary, I make the entire creation process annoyingly and painfully slow. So perhaps, it’s this luxury of time that I gift my books that helps them come out fully baked. It’s not as if I don’t make mistakes with my books; I do by the truckloads, but I do strive to create satisfying, wholesome reads, both textually and visually.   
2. MaccherJhol has been a joyous read. What inspired you to write this book?

Sumanta's illustrations! …

Visible No More: Ranjit Lal's latest book on rare animals

Children's author and champion of big and small animals Ranjit Lal  shares his thoughts on his latest nonfiction book from Duckbill-10 Indian Animals You May Never Again See In The Wild.
1..You have been writing about animals for the past few decades. What visible change in perceptions do you see in children then and now? I hope children are more sensitive and aware that animals too exist in the world and are vital to its functioning. Usually, it's the parents (my generation and even later) that are the problem: 'kaatega'! it will bite, don't touch or pet it..., if you don't eat your food it will eat you!'
2.Which of the ten animals mentioned in the book can be brought back from the brink of extinction? Hopefully all, though the prognosis for the bustard, Ganges river dolphin look very bleak indeed. The bigger, more 'charismatic' animals - rhinos and lions for example have the best chance because of all the publicity they get (and revenues they generat…

Blessed: A tale of girl power and education

Delhi based children's author Deepa Agarwal has come out with a new book dealing with illiteracy  and girl empowerment. Released by Hachette, Blessed, is a gripping middle grade book filled with intriguing twists and turns. Find out more about Deepa's latest book and her writing in this interview.

Hachette is extremely choosy when it comes to publishing fiction titles.What do you think tilted the scale in Blessed’s favour?Well, frankly speaking, you should ask my editor Vatsala Kaul Banerjee! Ithink it was the theme of education for girls that appealed to her. Youknow, in children’s book publishing, the general belief is that originalfiction by Indian authors does not sell well. For this reason, I wasoverjoyed and extremely grateful when Hachette accepted this book. Ihad put a lot of myself into Blessed. Vatsala did a tremendous job on theediting and being a very experienced editor, her inputs raised the storyto a different level.
2. Selentra, Rahma, Laylee and Dumor are unique…