Please welcome my Guest Author – Viji K Chary
Viji K. Chary was born in India and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. Her passion for writing stories began in elementary school and has evolved from coaching children in various activities; including gymnastics, classroom activities and creative competitions. Her stories have been published in Highlights for Children, Ladybug Magazine, Hopscotch for Girls and many more.
1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
When I was two years old, my family immigrated to the US from India. I’ve lived in Northern California all my life. I attended elementary school, middle school and high school at a time when multiculturalism wasn’t celebrated like it is today. I also worked in the science field here. My husband and I raised our children with emphasis on science and music. In the process, I’ve learned to be curious about various subjects. This is great for writing.
Now my two teenage children and two young nephews keep me busy. My nephews love to read. They keep me in touch with my target audience.
2. Describe your desk/workspace.
When we remodeled our home, we built a study with two desks, plenty of file spaces and bookshelves. This area worked very well until my teenaged son’s work area became the study.
I’ve moved out of the study and to the dining table with my lap top. When writing non-fiction pieces, this provides a lot of space for opened books for quick reference.
3. Do you have a favorite quote?
I have two favorite quotes.
Try not. Do (or do not). – Yoda from Star Wars Series. I really like this quote because removes the element of possible failure.
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. – Thomas Jefferson.
4. What are you currently reading?
I always have many books checked out from the library. Currently, I am in the middle of four books.
The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee – this is a biography of a cancer patient
Make a Scene by Jordan E, Rosemfeld – how to craft a powerful story, one scene at a time.
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada– a holocaust story
A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage – the history of the world in relation to six beverages.
5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I often read newsletters for children’s authors. Many years ago, I read an interview with Kelly Milner Halls. She advised writers to ‘hustle’ on a story. She meant follow up on a (non-fiction) idea before someone else follows it. I use this advice with all my writing. If I have an idea that I’m fired up about, I write on it sooner than later before the fire is extinguished.
6. If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
I would choose the Queen of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai. This girl was married at the age of 13 to the elderly King of Jhansi. Intricate details of her life are unknown. It is said that after her husband died she led her people against the British in battle. Her subjects adored their Queen.
It would to be honor to meet such a strong and courageous woman.
7. What are your top three favorite books and why?
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
This story touched me deeply as a teen and I cried at the end. Twenty year later when my son read this book and I thumbed through it, it again brought me to tears. Wilson Rawls connects the reader with the character so intimately that the character’s fears, triumphs and sorrows become the reader’s as well.
The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan is a piece of historical fiction. Mehrunnisa becomes Shah Jahan’s twentieth wife. This is the Emperor’s only marriage based on love. These two characters come together after chance encounters. Mehrunnisa becomes Empress Nur Jahan, one of the most powerful women Mughal history.
Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This story is captivating and the format is original. The text is followed by illustrations , then text followed by illustration, etc. The illustrations continue the story so the reader needs to pay attention to its details.
8. What was your favorite book as a child and why?
Frog and Toad, Little Bear. I think these books were perfect. Frog and Toad wore jackets and lived in quaint cottages. Mother Bear loved Little Bear and the stories were comforting.
Amelia Bedelia was humorous with plays on words.
9. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Every time we go on vacation, I collect all the local newspapers and look for any children’s sections that I can write for. This collection can be daunting at times.
10. Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time but I think of my project more than that. Before I fall asleep, as a cook, or while I drive, I think of the project I am working on.
11. What are your current marketing strategies for Porcupine’s Seeds?
I am sending out Porcupine’s Seeds to compete for books awards, reviewers and World of Ink Blog Tour. School visits will begin soon.
12. Could you share about any current writing projects?
Right now, I am working on a rebus. A rebus is a super short story (100 words). Each sentence has illustrated words. The illustrated words are nouns and sometimes adjectives like colors or numbers. It is challenging to write a complete story within 100 words, but it is also rewarding.
13. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?
Readers can contact me thought my website, http://www.vijikchary.com
14. Where can people find your book, Porcupine’s Seeds?
To order Porcupine’s Seeds, please visit http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/chary.php.
15. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to thank you for interviewing me and introducing your readers to Porcupine’s Seeds.
About the book:
Porcupine longs to grow beautiful sunflowers in his garden just like Raccoon. When Raccoon gives Porcupine seeds, she says that all they need is soil, sun, and water. But growing sunflowers is not easy for Porcupine.
~World of Ink Tour Schedule for Viji Chary~
June 3rd World of Ink Network – Spotlight
BTR’s World of Ink Network: Stories for Children Show
Live Radio Interview at 2pm EST at
Putting Words Down on Paper – Spotlight
The Writing Mama – Spotlight
Families Matter – Interview
Writing to the Hearts of Children – Spotlight
The Writing Mama – Interview
Home School Blogger – Book Review
Stories a la Mode – Book Review & Giveaway
Utah Children’s Writer Blog – Guest Post
Strands of Thought – Interview
4 the LOVE of BOOKS – Book Review & Giveaway
Fran Lewis Book Reviewer
The Patient Dreamer – Interview
American Chronicle – Spotlight
Writing to the Hearts of Children – Guest Post
Families Matter – Book Review
1st Time Mums – Spotlight
Rambling of a Coffee Addicted Writer – Guest Post
MayraSecretBookcase – Guest Post
Inspiring Books & Products – Interview
Writing to the Hearts of Children – Interview
Mommy Has to Work – Book Review & Giveaway
BlogCritics: Author Spotlight
Tidbits From A Mom – Book Review & Giveaway
Fran Lewis Book Reviewer – Interview
Stories for Children Magazine FG Interview
Mymcbooks Blog – Spotlight & Giveway
The Crypto-Capers Book Review
Blog Talk Radio: Stories for Unknown Authors Show at 8pm EST
BlogCritics Book Review