Dubbed the ‘Desi Rowling’ by the media, Sonja deftly brews up fantastical tales filled with magic, mayhem & mischief. The Potion of Eternity & Pearls of Wisdom are the first two novels in the much loved Hilarious Hauntings Adventures five book series. As part of the DOA Detective Files she has written ‘Trouble at the Taj’ and the new book ‘Revenge of the Pharaoh’ which will be released on December 22. Sonja currently resides in Pune.
What got you writing? Can you please share your story?
With my dad in the Army, I had an extraordinary childhood growing up on the NE border with goats, hens and Sherpas for friends. Then came Africa with its black mambas and joyous people, next was the mystical Bedouins of Oman, the frenetic energy of the Big Apple, laid back prairies of Wichita and finally, home, the Peshwa city.
With people floating in and out of my life, reading was my only anchor and local stories became my friends, my window to the vastly different worlds I was lucky to experience. Writing was and still is, my way trying to connect with the world and a chance to share my passion to travel to spaces unknown.
You have lived in Africa & the Middle East as well. What was it like?
Africa is truly the Dark Continent with its rich and diverse history, unexplored lands, lyrical languages and multiracial culture, all of which transformed and liberated my thinking at very early age. The Middle East is another exotic experience that opens your mind to a culture steeped in tradition and yet in sync with modernity. Living in a country takes you back in time, infusing your senses with infinitely unusual perspectives that emerge years later to shape the way you live.
Your books are for children and young adults. Any particular reason for choosing this genre?
Children’s literature is the most liberating and imaginative platform for a writer. Unlike adult fiction, it has no boundaries or preconceived prejudices or limitations set by society, you can truly write from your heart as your reader is all embracing and enthusiastic in their response, which makes it so very worthwhile.
Both Hilarious Haunting & DOA Detective Files have really wonderful and quirky characters. What are the other secret ingredients in creating a good story for children?
Secret ingredients for creating a great story for children are five – Strong, believable plotline, quirky and believable characters, a sense of humour, dollops of adventure and no moralizing.
Marketing books for children is very challenging. Can you please share the steps taken to promote your books.
Apart from updating my website and FB author page regularly, my book launches are very interactive where dramatization, dance and quizzes based on the current story make the evening a memorable one
What is your view on the reading habits of children today?
Children are reading though what they are made to read and what they would love to read are poles apart – it is time to throw out the old fashioned, moral filled stories and write what they can relate to so that the love of reading becomes a habit be it a paper back or e book.
What are you currently reading?
I am reading two stories right now – re-reading Life of Pi and Asterix and Cleopatra – I love Asterix and Obelix comics – so brilliant!!
When can we expect your next book? Any plans on writing a new series?
My new book DOA Revenge of the Pharaoh will be officially launched on 22nd Dec 2012. No plans of a new series, I have to complete the Hilarious Hauntings third book first!!
For more details, please visit http://sonjachandrachud.com