“The best way to ensure that your child reads is to be a reader yourself”

Says Vibha Batra, a well-known young adult author in conversation with All About Book Publishing

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Vibha Batra is a well-known young adult author. She has published 19 books including Incognito, Pinkoo Shergill Pastry Chef, The Secret Life of Debbie G, Merry the Elephant’s Rainy Day (picture book), Bathinda to Bangkok, The Reluctant Debutante, The Dream Merchants, Keeping it Real, Euro Trip, Ludhiana to London, Glitter and Gloss, The Activist and The Capitalist, Sweet Sixteen (Yeah, Right!), Seventeen and Done (You Done!), Eighteen and Wiser (Not Quite!), Family Crossword, A Twist of Lime, and Tongue in Cheek.

Here, she talks about her experience as an author.

Journey as an author…

“Like everything in my life, I blame writing on my genes. My maternal grandfather, the late Shri Vishnu Kant Shastri was an academic, Sanskrit scholar, and prolific writer. His memoirs, travelogues, and poetry are my all-time favourites. When he passed away, I decided to translate his book on the Ishaavaasya Upanishad into English. It was published by Rupa. And voila, I went from copywriter to author,” tells Vibha.

“I’m a compulsive writer. I’ve got to write. I can’t not write. From prose to verse, novels to travelogues, short stories to graphic novels, plays to lyrics, I love writing them all,” she adds. “My books have been published by Rupa, Penguin, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, Pirates, DC Books and many more.”

On preferred language to write…

“I write books in English, advertising copy in English and Hindi, poetry in English, Hindi, English and Urdu. My short stories have been translated into Oriya and Telugu,” she tells.

Hardest part of writing a book…

“Writing is the easy part. But marketing a book – oh, boy! That’s a toughie,” exclaims Vibha.

On literary festivals…

“Anything that puts the spotlight on your book is a good thing. And that include Literature Festivals. They are a great way to reach more readers and reviewers and bookstagrammers and bibliophiles. I have been part of Bookaroo, Peekabook Literature Festival, Pune International Literature Festival, Chandigarh Literary Festival, Kalinga Literary Festival, Atta Galatta Bangalore Literature Festival, Intersections: International Conference of Children’s Literature and many more,” she tells.

On inculcating love for reading…

“To each their own. If adults want to read for pleasure, they will. As for children and Young Adults, if they grow up watching their parents read, they might just wonder what the fuss is all about and get drawn to it. Pushing them to read may just have the exact opposite effect. So, the best way to ensure that your child reads is to be a reader yourself. As they say, lead by example,” she concludes.

Vibha Batra is an award-winning bestselling author, graphic novelist, advertising consultant, poet, lyricist, translator, playwright, script writer, travel writer, columnist, speaker and creative writing mentor. She has published 19 books. She writes across genres: fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, Young Adult novels, romance, fantasy, drama and humour.

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