Interplanetary travel, mind-reading bodyguards, underground flying lessons…discovering pure fantasy

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gulnam

 

Illustrating Janaki Murali’s book ‘Gulu Naami and the Destiny Keepers’ has jolted me out of my comfort zone. I’ve never done pure fantasy before. But I’m enjoying the challenge.

gulu naami - chapter 3

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Asian Festival of Children’s Content

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It was quite exciting getting to launch my book ‘Trapped’ at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content’ (AFCC) at Singapore this May. Among books from all over Asia, three  by Indian writers were launched at the fest, so it was great meeting Srividya Venkat (launching her book ‘Pickle Mania’) and Varsha Seshan (for the launch of ‘Bholu and the Smart Card’) — two writers who resemble each other so much, that many mistook them for sisters.

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Book launch apart, the event was fabulously packed with workshops, lectures, opportunities to meet writers from all over Asia, see their work, buy their books…the illustrator’s gallery was stunning. The country of focus was Indonesia and some of the talks by writers from there — discussing the challenges and solutions – seemed very relevant to India.

I might have missed Lily Kong’s adorable series on Dad, except for the fact that we were both in the cross-platform sessions together. The festival book store ‘Closetful of Books’ was packed, with people and books. I also spotted the Children’s Book Trust stall in the main courtyard.

Dads for sale

The other mega bonus was the library’s coffee shop — the best eclairs I’ve eaten in decades. With good college friends Shanthi and Subu, also in S’pore at the same time, food played a somewhat greater role than literature, over the course of the fest.

Was super impressed by the number of local publishers in a tiny city-state like S’pore. They’ve also got their language publishing programme going at full steam — Malay, Tamil and Chinese books filled the stalls.

I tend to think of libraries as cozy, warm, period buildings and the Singapore National Library, the venue for the fest, just turned all those images on their head. It’s very modern, all-glass and high rise, open and welcoming, with access from two busy roads. And seemed massive enough to absorb the crowds at the fest without feeling cramped.

At the cross-platform sessions, a short chat with Luke Sanoop of YouTube.

Image courtesy – The AFCC Facebook Page

Classic Bond

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I wonder how many editions there are of Ruskin Bond’s popular story…

‘The Blue Umbrella’.   Google the book and you’ll find so many different editions of it. Obviously, countless lucky illustrators all over have had a chance to work on this fabulous story. It’s a novella, so it was only for a short period of a few weeks that I could lose myself in this spunky pahaadi girl’s life, as it got serialised a few months ago.

A Ghost in the Family

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What do a pair of 16-year-old twins do when the person they’re closest to, happens to be a ghost?

trapped cover

My book ‘Trapped’ is out…on Amazon, Kindle and Flipkart. It’s about twins Anandita and Arjun, struggling to keep their close relationship with their ghost sibling, Amit, hidden from their clueless, worrying parents. The book is about how they cope…with their ghost brother’s unhappiness with his situation; their upcoming board exams; their budding romances AND the arrival of another strange ghost in their home. As the three ‘siblings’ support, adore and fight with each other, music turns out to be the best antidote for most of their problems.

Here’s a review by Yash Kesavamurthy in Book Riot: http://bookriot.com/2017/03/23/indiya-young-adultcrossover-titles-from-india/

And you can read a review of the book on a UK website, For Reading Addicts, here.

 

A new cover to celebrate the 10th edition

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tenali cover 3

This book came out in 2006…my first novel with Puffin. Now 10 years later, it’s into its 10th edition and its 3rd redesigned cover. I’ve loved all three covers. This one, illustrated  by Harshad Marathe has a completely different flavour. I’m thrilled he chose to illustrate one of my favourite episodes from the book.