Five Minutes With Indian Children’s Book Author Natasha Sharma
We love that the Indian publishing industry is filled with such fantastic writers and illustrators of children’s books. Five Minutes With … is a feature where we get to know some of our favourite children’s book people in some not-so-usual ways.
Our next author is none other than Natasha Sharma. You’ve probably read her books in our library and fallen in love with the characters and stories that she creates. Natasha calls herself a ‘Fuzzy-scatter-brained-day-dreamer, thought-chewer, random-worrier, giggle-monster, unstoppable-laugher, dog-obsessed-design-obsessed-baking-nut-travel-fiend‘ – Whoa, wasn’t that a mouthful. Let’s hope she writes a book with a protagonist that matches that description, we’re sure it’ll be a cracker of a book!
Natasha has written many types of books for different ages from picture books to chapter books. She’s even written a series of fiction books based on Indian history which have gone on to win awards. Shah Jahan and the Ruby Robber won for Best Illustrated Children’s Book at Comic Con India in 2018. Another, Razia and the Pesky Presents was awarded a SABA book honour in 2016. These middle-grade appropriate books are called the ‘History Mystery’ series and are available to read on Getlitt!
Bonkers! which is one of Natasha Sharma’s most loved and most read books won the highly acclaimed SCBWI Crystal Kite award in 2014. Her first book Icky, Yucky, Mucky and books from the History Mystery series have been a regular feature in the RivoKids Parents and Kids Choice awards for two years in a row. Natasha’s books have also been a hot favourite on Flibkart’s best children’s books list in previous years.
Her tenacity and interest in literature has lead her to panel and speak on many prestigious platforms such as Jaipur Literature Festival in 2017, Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Pune, at the illustrious Kala Ghodha Literature Festival in Mumbai and the Chandigarh Literature Festival among many others.
Indian children’s literature is all the more richer with Natasha Sharma’s books and creative mind. To think, none of this would have been possible if she’d stuck to her corporate sector job as a brand manager for Pizza Hut, India. Natasha Sharma is a perfect example of having the courage to pursue one’s passions and turn them into a lucrative and value-adding career.
Let’s have a look at what she had to say when we sat down with her for our ‘Five Minutes With’ blog series.
Team Get Litt: What’s your favourite thing to write about?
Natasha: Hard one to answer since I write across genres, formats and age groups! I’ve written historical fiction around kings and queens in Indian history, in the ‘History Mystery’ series. Those have been exciting and I learn a lot while I research. I’ve written about eating mangoes, terrible table manners, fussy princesses, a completely crazy dog and a lot more. I like taking a quirky, off-beat, funny take on things, situations and people that appear perfectly normal.
Books By Natasha Sharma
TGL: Which children’s book character do you think you’re most like?
NS: Squiggle from my book Squiggle Takes a Walk. Squiggle is a doodle who doesn’t know what she is and what is her place in the book, having been scribbled onto a page. She doesn’t quite fit into the construct of the rule-driven world of punctuation. She finally discovers (*spoiler alert*) that she is an expression of a free-flowing, creative mind and unique in herself.
I am most definitely, Squiggle.
TGL: Tell us a children’s book you love.
NS: I love Captain Coconut and the Case of the Missing Bananas by Anushka Ravishankar and also Today is My Day. I love all of her books but these two are favourites. I couldn’t stop laughing through the first one and Today is My Day appealed to the wicked side of me.
Picture Courtesy IndianMomsConnect.com
TGL: If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be and what would you name them?
NS: A donkey. I love their fuzzy snouts, particularly when they are babies. I’d name it Gadbad (as in ‘trouble’ in Hindi – it’s hard to find the equivalent English spelling!). I wanted to name my younger brother that but the suggestion wasn’t met with much enthusiasm by my parents. I think a donkey can’t object.
In the absence of space to keep a donkey (the world can be a cruel place that way), I’m completely and totally partial to dogs having grown up with four at any time, periodically augmented by five puppies. I’d name my dog Gapoo junior in memory of my first love, my dog Gapoo. Gapoo means ‘happiness’ in the Tibetan language and he brought a lot of happiness to my childhood.
Books by Natasha Sharma. Read them HERE
TGL: If you had to write a story about an object/human around you, what would it be about?
NS: I’m currently writing about glum people based on glum people I have seen.
Oh! We can’t wait to read Natasha’s next book about glum people – that little piece of information has really whet our appetite. Till she drops that book, we’re happy to go back and read all her classic, they’re always so uplifting.
We hope you enjoyed our little 5 Minutes with Natasha Sharma, do check back for more content. If you have an idea that you want us to write about, do let us know in the comments below – we love hearing from you!