I would like to thank Padma Venkatraman for inviting me to take part in the My Writing Process Blog Tour! Padma is the author of three novels, Climbing the Stairs, Island’s End, and her most recent one, A Time to Dance. Her writing is lyrical and accessible and her characters are filled with inner strength. A Time to Dance is a story about power of inner awakening through art. It is beautifully told with the vivid imagery that Padma weaves throughout all her novels. You can visit Padma Venkatraman at http://www.padmasbooks.com/
Here are the questions I have been asked to answer as part of this blog tour:
1) What are you working on?
Since I write for children of all ages (from picture books to young adult novels) I usually have more than one project going at any given time. Right now I’m polishing a couple of picture books and writing a middle grade novel that was inspired by a trip with my daughter. I am also working on an adult novel with one of my family members. Since I have a picture book coming out next year, I am also preparing author’s note for it.
2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
My young picture book protagonists are curious and playful. The characters of my young adult and middle grade stories are thrown into situations that change their lives drastically. Their struggles lead them to discover their inner strength and find out who they are. Some of the themes I touch on are equality, fairness, and independence. I don’t consciously start out with these themes but let my characters lead me to them.
3) Why do you write what you do?
I grew up surrounded by stories. There were stories from the ancient epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana to stories about India’s freedom fights. My great grandfather, my grandparents as well as my parents not only told me stories, but also encouraged me to read. Still, in college, I studied science and became a microbiologist. I worked in my field and enjoyed it and never thought about being a writer. When my daughters were young I started reading to them and with them (when they became independent readers). After years of storytelling and reading, I wanted to tell my own stories and my first novel, Blue Jasmine, was born.
4) How does your writing process work?
I write in spurts because of all the other commitments and distractions (which I love) in my life. When I have time I often write between three and six pages a day and then may not write for a week or longer. But even if I am not writing, the stories are always in the back of my mind – simmering, deepening, and sometimes boiling over. Once I have a rough draft I revise, rewrite and sometimes reimagine and rework the story. I also belong to wonderful critique groups and I share my stories with them and pay attention to their comments to make my work better.
Here are the three wonderful writers who’ll be following me as part of the My Writing Process Blog Tour:
Jamie A. Swenson received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in MN. When not writing, Jamie works as an early literacy storyteller/library associate at the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, WI. Look for her books: Boom! Boom! Boom!, Big Rig, and the forthcoming If You Were a Dog. Please visit her site: http://www.jamieaswenson.com
Stephanie Golightly Lowden has written two middle grade historical fiction novels. Time of the Eagle takes place in the 1700s among the Ojibwe people. Jingo Fever, her latest novel, takes place during World War I amidst anti-German hysteria and deals with the issue of bullying. Please visit her site: http://www.stephanielowden.com/
Andrea Skyberg is an author-illustrator and artist-educator. Her books have been honored with the Mom’s Choice Award Gold & Silver medals, a Moonbeam Award, and a Next Generation Indie Book Finalist Award. Andrea runs the weekly blog feature Tuesday Tours, which showcases artist’s and writer’s studios. Please visit her site: andreaskyberg.com.