Questions from the class: join www.scbwi.org
1. What was your favorite book as a child? What is your favorite genre of books to read? What is your all-time favorite book? Is there a specific book that inspired you to become an author? SEE https://sarvinder.weebly.com/favorite-books.html
2. What age range do you write books for? Picture Books that are shared with newborns to adults
3. What got you interested in writing children’s books? What was your motivation to write a children’s book? Why did you decide to do it? Because it is who I Am. How did you come up with the idea for your children’s books? Some ideas just come to me--they pick me. Others I find around me and create from scratch. When did you first start getting the inspiration to write and publish your own book? When I was in 3rd grade I wrote songs. I always loved to read and so wanted to also write for others to hopefully enjoy. How do you normally start writing a book? Sit In Chair. Start writing. I'm pretty self motivated. Where does most of your inspiration come from? All around. Now my granddaughter also. Is it hard to find what to write about? At first. What helps spark your creativity when writing a new children’s book? What were some difficulties you faced when figuring out what to write about? What's the best way to write it? How to start. How to create the ending. What's the problem going to be? What's the climax? What's the THEME? Theme is a hard one but you can't start without it. What’s the most challenging part of the writing process? It's different for everyone. For me, finding a theme or problem. Making it all fit together. Patience. You must learn perseverance and to never give up. (the theme is the lesson learned)
4. How do you make sure to incorporate characters that provide windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors into your work? I don't purposely. The story is first priority. Are some identities easier for you to incorporate? Probably characters from India. If so, why do you think that is? I'm Indian :)
5. What is your favorite part about creating/writing a book? Coming up with an idea and brainstorming is fun with my friends. What is your least-favorite part? Writing it is a LOT of hard work! Getting told it isn't working and going back to the drawing board is not fun. Revising is not fun. Getting rejected is not fun. Getting an offer from an editor and seeing the illustrations is the best!
6. How do you know when an idea for a book is worth pursuing? If it's something that YOU love, and if it's outside the box, and if others love it, then you know. Would you say there are any “what NOT to do” when writing a children’s book? There are tons of unwritten rules of what and what not to do. If you go to conferences, you can learn about rules, or go to local SCBWI events (local events are often free--contact your state RA or contact me).
7. How long does it take to write a book? (From starting to write to getting it published). Describe the book writing process. And if you get writer’s block, how do you pass it? Neighbots took 7 years (and it will take 2 more to illustrate, print, and distribute before the public can get it), and another book that's getting close to being submitted took 7 years. My agent sends my finished manuscripts out to editors to see if they are interested. I don't usually get writer's block--I guess if I get discouraged about writing, then it makes it hard to write. It's very tough getting mostly rejections!
The writing process goes like this: I come up with an idea. I brainstorm about the idea. If an idea hits me, sometimes I just sit down and it comes to me so I write it down all at once. After writing it, I may spend YEARS revising it until it's ready. It's usually ready if people love it and can't find anything wrong with it or don't have any questions about it.
8. What was your experience in getting published? What was the publishing process like? You write. Revise maybe 100 times or more (or not at all sometimes). You send to your critique group(s). They give feedback. You revise again. They brainstorm with you. Finally send to your agent. She asks you to revise. Finally she is willing to send it out to editors if she believes it is ready. Then editors REJECT it! Sometimes an editor likes it, and they ask you to revise! And then sometimes still reject it. And once in great while, they like your edits. They take it to an editorial meeting, where the other editors may reject it. If the other editors like it, then the editor calls you or emails, and makes an offer! Finally! Yippee!!!
9. Do you have a favorite book you have written? If so, why? I LOVE LiNES, but now I may love NEIGHBOTS more!
10. Is it easy to correct your grammar mistakes? Yes, my critique group helps and so does WORD app. It's built-in to many writing apps to auto correct. Don't let spelling or grammar stop you.
11. How did you find an illustrator to work with? The editor knows tons of illustrators so they choose. For NEIGHBOTS, they asked me if I had any illustrator preferences. They usually don't ask me though.
12. Do you prefer the public speaking part of being an author or the writing more? I don't mind speaking to adults but I like writing more. Thanks for asking!
13. What is something you have learned from writing books? Patience! I learned that it is fulfilling to be who you are, do what you were made to do, and fulfill your God given purpose.
14. Are you going to write more books? Yes, until I can't. I've always been a writer and always will be :)
Thank you ALL for listening and letting me visit your class!!!