Friday 20 June 2014

Interview with Sujatha Author of Children's Ebooks

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your books, and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
I write/illustrate/publish ebooks for children. I regularly conduct story-telling sessions.  Here is a link to my ebooks:
I love reading books and so do my children. My hope is that parents will start encouraging their children to read ebooks on iPads, Kindle and other tablets and not just to play games …  J
In the coming years, I would be working towards making Jojo a Television Series. Before embarking on this venture, I worked as a Software Enginner in the Silicon Valley and became a stay-at-home mom to spend time with my children.

2. How you first got involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?
I have always loved writing and painting and spent many summers dabbling in oil painting and peotry as a child.  After I took a break from my IT Career to be with my children, I started making up stories for them. They loved it!  My husband suggested that I go the ebook route and self-publish and so here I am, with close to 250 ebooks J   Yes, I do have a vivid imagination and I am a creative person.

3. What do you find most challenging about writing about your topic?
Reaching out to parents and getting my ebooks out there is the hardest part.  Sometimes I go on a writing spree so my illustrations get delayed.

4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your books?
I have found many topics to address while sitting in the park or pushing my kids on the swing. Once, I saw a mother struggling to take her howling child home. That inspired me to write What are you feeling, Dragon?

5. How would (someone) describe your writing style?
Well, I really couldn’t say.  I have tried different styles of writing.  But here is one of the great reviews I have received for my book (Toto Tiger) about being nice to others: “Toto tiger by Sujatha Lalgudi is just awesome. I love reading this with my son who now practically knows every single word. It teaches him so many things; different animals, patterns etc but most of all, how to be a good person! Sujatha lalgudi's work is impressive with colorful illustrations. We simply loved it. Check out her other books too. “

6. What do you do when you are not working on your books?
Probably taking my kids to classes, baking, discussing my latest book idea with my family. I also spend a great deal of time conducting story-telling sessions in schools, libraries and cafes.

7 .Where do you see yourself writing wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
I have over 20 books that need to be illustrated and published. This year, I plan to have Indian languages like Hindi, Sanskrit and pretty much all the South Indian languages.  I am working towards releasing related apps to make learning a more fun activity.  Publishing Audio books is another todo to encourage newbie readers to read.  Making a TV Series is big on my list right now so trying to work that out.

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your writing business?
I visit schools and libraries to conduct story-telling sessions.  My goal is to meet one lakh kids in the coming years.  A lot of children get excited when I tell them I will be reading the book I authored J So far I have met close to 500 children.

9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your books? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one books.
I am never short of stories J My children are my biggest inspiration. When I struggle with something as a parent, it ends up in a story. When I see parents/caretakers dealing with certain issues, lo presto! Jojo, my favorite elephant character goes through the same and comes out happier with the lesson learned.

10. What’s your strategy with your books in general?
There is no strategy here. Publishing books is my passion. I have the best ‘job’ in the world! J

11. Any specific tips you have for newbie authors who want to make it in the book world?
One word: Write! It is theraupetic. But if your goal is to make lots of money or to be famous, get in line!!

13. What’s the best thing an author can give his/her readers?
Something they can take away with them at the end of the book: A happy thought, a call for action or a simple lesson in case it’s a book for children.

14. A lot of people are interested in blogging/writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging/writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
Unless it’s a paid project, I am not entirely sure if you can make a living out of this profession, unless of course you are an overnight success (which I don’t believe exists!!).  But if writing is your thing or you have an opinion or a message to share, then the passion will take you where you want to go, eventually…

15. What motivates you most in life?

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your books?
Undoubtedly, my story-telling sessions for children. Atleast, in India!

17. Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?
Picture Books for children! In my experience, parents have to like the book as much as the children to pick it up from stores.  For example, my book Where is Santa - A Christmas Picture book for Children was a best-seller in the Christmas category two years ago. I still got a few reviews that said quote:
“It was okay, my 9 year old enjoyed it. But it wasn't really as stimulating as I thought it would be for my girls. But a good Christmas book indeed!”  This book was meant for children between 3 – 7 years …

18. Five adjectives that describe you.
Creative. Passionate. Driven. Serious. Simple.

19. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. It’s a classic and I enjoyed reading it to my children as much as they did. Here’s another one from my childhood: The Giving Tree. It has absolutely no words.

20. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
I wouldn’t call it provoked. But it does affect me when I work on the next book. It gets added as one more ingredient to my story.

21. Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
I am not judgemental but I have my opinions and pet peeves.

22. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
Books for children is almost always my biggest attraction. I usually avoid chic-lit or paranormal genres.

23. Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?
Take it as a compliment! Your work will speak for itself, I guess J

24. Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews and my Website
Thank you for giving this opportunity to Authors and Bloggers. Keep the passion going and am sure your blog will be on the path to the most sought after J

25. On winning the Award/s, Are they really necessary.

Perhaps I can comment on it after I receive one? Jokes apart, I do believe every artist, be it an actor or an author seeks some sort of recognition for the work they do. It also helps them to reach out to their audience as it gives them additional credibility.


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