Last week I shared my review of ‘Where Is Amma?’. This week I’m happy to interview the author, Nandini Nayar.
Interview with Nandini Nayar
I came across Nandini Nayar when I was researching books for children by Indian authors. I was intrigued by the titles of her books, “Where is Amma?” “How Pranav went to school.” “When Amma went to school”
I found her books delightful to read and well illustrated and so I got in touch with her. As a writer myself , I find other writers fascinating and love to know more about them. And this is what I learnt.
Nandini Nayar has been writing for over fifteen years now. She started with short stories and then went on to writing novels and picture books. She has published over forty books and has enjoyed writing every one of them.
Let’s get to know her better!
Why do you write children’s books?
My very first published story was a children’s story. Writing it just felt just right and all I could think about was the next story I was going to write for children to read. A few years later when my son was born I found myself inventing stories for him. And that’s how I found myself writing picture book stories. In all the time that I have been writing for children, I have never really considered writing for any other audience. Children are truthful in their feedback and praise and I couldn’t ask for better readers.
What was your first book?
My first book was Pranav’s Picture. A novel of mine was serialised in the children’s pages of a newspaper before this but I still consider this my first one.
Your books are in other languages besides English. Which languages are they available in?
They are translated into Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Odia.
Which book did you enjoy writing the most?
Every single book is special because of all the things it has taught me, all the things I have attempted to do in the writing of it and all the new things it has brought into my life. I also work on English textbooks and even though it is very different from creative writing, it is something that challenges me and that I enjoy enormously.”
When do you think we should introduce our children to books?
You can start any day you want to. You can begin by simply talking to your child, telling her stories about the world around. Children love to be talked to and once you have them hooked, it’s only a small step to reading to them. You can start reading from around a year or even before.
Is there anything you would like to say to the parents of young kids?
As parents we must interact with our children. We don’t need experts to tell them stories; we are the best storytellers where our children are concerned. When you begin to tell your child stories, stories become a part of your life. Suddenly, the world is full of story prompts and with a ready audience on your hips, you can be a storyteller. A child who grows up listening to stories goes on to reading them. And a parent who begins telling stories may well go on to writing them!