Joining us today is (Viji Chary), author of (Picture book, Porcupine’s Seeds).
Thank you for joining us today, (Viji). Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’ve lived in California nearly all my life. I went to school and college here. I also worked in the science field here. My husband and I raised our children with emphasis on science and music. In the process, I’ve learned to be curious about various subjects. This is great for writing.
Now my two teenage children and two young nephews keep me busy. My nephews love to read. They keep me in touch with my target audience.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I first became interested in writing in sixth grade. Our English teacher asked each student to write a story. At that time, I used to read the same books that I loved over and over again. I found it hard to find other interesting books. I felt a story should have excitement. So, in my English assignment, the MC and her friend had a swimming race across a lake. While the MC was swimming, ‘something’ pulled her leg. Scared, she hopped out of the lake and ran to the other side. The class voted my story the best! But, the story had holes in it. I didn’t know what pulled the MC’s leg. I just wanted excitement. And the resolution in the story was not strong enough. But, I enjoyed writing it so much that I decided be an author when I ‘grew up’.
Why did you decide to write stories for the (young children’s) market?
When I was very young, I loved Curious George, Amelia Bedelia and Little Bear books. Although, writing is no longer in that format, I wanted to create something that is that long lasting.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
My favorite part of writing for this group is creating a text that flows smoothly. This kind of writing is deceptively simple. With a few words, a writer must creative strong characters, a plot, a conflict and good resolution. It takes a lot of re-reading and re-writing.
The greatest challenge is to find a story that rings true with this audience that has not been overdone. It cannot be ‘babyish’ and should not be beyond the audience’s grasp.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
My latest book is Porcupine’s Seeds. In this book, Porcupine longs to grow beautiful sunflowers in his garden, just like Raccoon. When Raccoon gives Porcupine seeds, she says that all they need is soil, sun, and water. But growing sunflowers is not easy for Porcupine.
Porcupine’s Seeds also connects to early elementary science curriculum.
What inspired you to write it?
When my son was four, we planted seeds in small pots. As he went inside the house, he tripped over the threshold and the soil and seeds scattered. This incident sparked a story idea that became Porcupine’s Seeds.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Porcupine’s Seeds is available at http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/chary.php
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
My web-address is www.vijikchary.com. Here you can find more about my publications.
What is up next for you?
I just finished writing three ESL readers. Writing these high interest books for new English speakers and readers was an exhilarating challenge. I may write more.
Do you have anything else to add?
I’d like to thank you for interviewing me.
Thank you for spending time with us today, (Viji). We wish you much success.