Once upon a time (in 1995, to tell the truth), my wonderful school-librarian encouraged us to write and illustrate books of our own. A friend and I sat and wrote a book of stories and poems. I forget what it’s called. We illustrated it painstakingly – and one important lesson that I learned from that was that even if I could write, I could never draw.
At the back of the book, we proudly put in little biographies – About the Authors. Mine says ‘Varsha Seshan is 8 years old and studies in Standard IV A.‘
What else was there to say?
My teacher kept that book. She got it rebound when it started falling to bits. And eighteen years later, when I have a ‘real’ book published, she wants me to go back to my school and talk to children about making it happen. She wants everyone to look at that book and then at my new official one. She asked me if I was willing. I’m not just willing – I’m delighted, excited, ecstatic.
I begin today and I’m going to be doing four readings in my library. I’ll be talking to children who are beginning to write their own marvellous poems and stories. I can’t wait to find out what kinds of questions they’ll ask me.