Five Minutes with Award-Winning Author Sowmya Rajendran
We’re back with another ‘Five minute’ interview, and today we’ve got award-winning author Sowmya Rajendran. This Pune based author has an impressive 20 titles to her name and many more in the pipelines. Her journey to become an author was one of laser focus, something we admire greatly. Sowmya always wanted to become a writer, and so, she became one. Her secret? “There’s no big secret – if you want to write, you must write. Every single day. That’s the only way you’ll get anywhere with your dream” says Sowmya Rajendran.
Sowmya’s strength is her ability to balance the whimsy with the practical, whether it’s in her work or in her life. She values her happiness, she lives in the moment but believes in fixed deposits! A creative mind that is rooted in practicality, now that’s something we bet you didn’t know about this talented author. Well, get ready to dive into her personality and quirks a bit more. Here is our five minutes interview with Sowmya Rajendran.
Team GetLitt: What’s your favourite thing to write about? Why?
Sowmya Rajendran: I love writing about kids who have lots of questions about the world around them and don’t agree with adults only because they have to. I’d like my readers to think it’s possible for them to question the status quo as well.
TGL: Which children’s book character do you think you’re most like? Why?
SR: Probably Pippi Longstocking though I cannot lift a horse. I was and still, am pretty free-spirited and have an overactive imagination.
Image courtesy Penguin
TGL: Give us five adjectives that describe your body of work so far.
SR: Err, at the risk of sounding narcissistic: Funny, feminist, subversive, honest, layered
TGL: Tell us a children’s book you love. Why do you love it?
SR: There are many children’s books that I love – from Winnie the Pooh to Rebel Girls – so it’s really hard to pick just one. But I will go with this picture book called Lili by Wen Dee Tan. It’s about a little girl whose hair is made of fire. It has wonderful black and white illustrations with just this flaming orange hair standing out on every page. It’s a lovely book on being different and coming to terms with it.
Image courtesy Fat Fox Books
TGL: If you could have and write about any pet in the world, what species would it be, and what would you name them?
SR: A panda. I think pandas were put on the planet to remind people to slow the heck down. My panda would be called Pandian – it’s a nice Tamil name, and I bet a true panda mother would be too lazy to think about anything more creative.
TGL: If you had to write a story about an object/human around you, what would it be about?
SR: Objects and humans around me are always my subjects. My laptop morphing into a panda and refusing to work because I’ve overused it would make for a decent fantasy story.
TGL: Is there a book that you would love to pass down to your grandkids/family or have had passed down to you through generations? Which is it and why?
SR: My mother has still kept all the books I read as a child, including Tinkle comics. My daughter reads them too whenever she visits her grandparents. I’d love for her to discover Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – it’s a book which left a great impact on me. It was funny and heartbreaking at the same time, my favourite kind of literature. I picked this also because my daughter loves to draw her own comics.
Image courtesy Norma Editorial
TGL: Which of your senses or elements helps put you in the mood to write?
SR: A deadline is what really helps. I don’t need fancy food or music or anything else!
TGL: Give us three reasons why reading is vital for children?
SR: 1. It’s the greatest escape from the real world.
2. You’ll actually learn a lot about the real world.
3. You’ll develop your sense of empathy and the real world needs more of that.
Now that’s a good note to end on, with this five minutes interview with Sowmya Rajendran. Hands up if you’re going to Google cute videos of pandas after reading this interview! It always amazes us how creative the minds of authors are when it comes to looking at the world. If you’d like to read books on a Kung Fu Panda and other fun creatures, head to GetLitt!’s library, we have over 300+ books for you to enjoy.