|Author Arundhati Venkatesh|
Lee: Please tell us about your Crystal-Kite winning book!
Arundhati: Petu Pumpkin Tooth Troubles is an early chapter book with quirky characters and delightful illustrations. About the book: The Gap Club has challenged the Fourth Graders to a football match. But they cannot practise unless they get a football! The fate of the match rests on Petu Pumpkin’s tooth. Will it fall in time?
Petu Pumpkin has to deal with tooth troubles of all sorts – being left out of the Gap Club, a shaky tooth and the prospect of starvation, an unobliging tooth fairy and, thanks to a hilarious turn of events, ferocious dogs!
Lee: How long have you been involved with SCBWI, and can you share what you feel you’ve gained by being a member?
Arundhati: I’ve been an SCBWI member since 2013, which I think is when the SCBWI India chapter was revived. The workshops and First Pages discussions have been immensely beneficial. Feedback is so hard to come by, and can be so crucial when you’re struggling alone with a story. The SCBWI-organised events brought me in touch with experts who were extremely generous with their time and skills. Perhaps the biggest benefit – and this is something that cannot be measured – is belonging to a warm, supportive community of writers, illustrators, editors, magic-weavers of all kinds.
Lee: Do you have any advice to share with other children’s book writers and illustrators?
Arundhati: No advice, but a realization I came to after months of anguish and several unfinished manuscripts - Writer’s block is a mix of ego and insecurity. That’s what it is every time I find myself churning out rubbish. I need to be by myself, confront my fears and get rid of my ego so I can surrender to the story and let it lead me.
SCBWI India has members in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Jabalpur, Kota, Leh and Auroville. They have "several workshops and conferences planned in the coming months." You can find out more about SCBWI India at the region's website here.
To find out more about Arundhati and her books, visit her online here.
Congratulations Arundhati, on "Petu Pumpkin: Tooth Troubles" winning the 2015 Crystal Kite Award!