Swapna Sanchita writes stories for children and poetry. After graduating in Civil Engineering, she went on to pursue a management degree and has a PGDM from IIM Kozhikode.
As the Center Director of T.I.M.E Ranchi, she is a business woman and educator. But she loves writing the most. She lives with her husband and two sons. She loves books, chocolate and endless cups of tea.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your book Seven Stars Go Missing?
Seven Stars Go Missing is a story steeped in fantasy and adventure. One day, the fairies entrusted with the responsibility of laying out the stars in the night sky find the seven stars of the Ursa Major missing.
In their quest to unravel the mystery of the missing stars, they encounter a little girl who can travel anywhere she wants with a multicoloured balloon.
Seven Stars Go Missing is a magical tale that is fun to read and paints a vivid, beautiful imaginary world that children are so comfortable with.
Q. What inspired this particular story?
My niece was five years old when I wrote this story. She called herself Supergirl and once asked me if she could fly with the help of balloons.
The stories I write for children are often inspired by my nephews, my niece, and my two sons. They are my first readers, my beta testers, and they are extremely tough to satisfy when it comes to any loopholes they feel may exist in the plot.
Q. Who would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
Children who can read and those adults who are in touch with the child in them are the ideal readers of this book.
As I said, the book was written for children, but over the past year, I have found a lot of grown-ups reading the book and sending me messages telling me how it took them back to the time they believed in magic, fairies, and in rabbits that lived on the moon.
Q. How would you describe yourself as a child?
I have had a pretty normal childhood. We were scolded and loved in equal measure. But I don’t think I was particularly naughty or anything.
I used to read a lot and loved listening to the stories my grandfather would tell when we visited my grandparents during the summer vacations.
My extended family lived all over the world, but we were tightly knit. As children, we were expected to have dreams and were encouraged to develop the ability to pursue them.
But one thing which I used to take for granted, but now that I know more of the world, I realize how important it was, we (my siblings and I) were encouraged to think for ourselves, decide what we wanted to do, make mistakes, and learn to move on.
As a result, I was mostly confident and very sure of myself as a child, and I still am.
Q. What does a day in the life of Swapna Sanchita look like when you’re writing?
I work in fits and starts. I need to have more discipline in my life when it comes to writing, but until recently, this has been primarily a hobby, so I am still trying to build some kind of routine when I write.
I tend to write late in the evening or at night when the rest of the household is asleep. This is because there are fewer distractions then.
Q. Do you have a favourite part of the writing process?
I usually get an idea for a piece of writing just before I fall asleep, or to be precise, when I am somewhere between being awake and asleep.
Of course, the worst part then is when I actually sit down to flesh it out the next day and can not remember the sequence of my half-dreamt thoughts for the life of me.
But the favourite part of the process is the actual writing when I am in full flow, and the story seems almost to write itself. I hate rereading my stories, though, and doing the editing and reworking certain parts to make them sound better.
I realize you asked me about the favourite part, and I seem to dwell on everything I dislike. But when I am asked questions regarding ‘the writing process,’ I find it difficult to answer them.
See, writing for me is not a job. There is no room for the technical jargon of a task well done. I write because it comes easily to me. I find it enjoyable, so truthfully my favourite part of the process, as you call it, is the actual process of writing.
Q. If you could time travel anywhere in the world at any time in history and stay there for about a week, when/where would you go? Or would you prefer to visit the future?
I would love to be present at Versailles during the times of Louis the XIV, or maybe the courts of the Tudor king Henry VIII when he was with Anne Boleyn. I would love to be present in Akbar’s court.
If I had to travel to the future, presuming there is a wonderful future in store for us despite the mess we have created with global warming and nuclear weapons, I would like to go far ahead, maybe 3400 AD (this is just a random date ) and see what humankind is up to, do we still read or has the written word become obsolete thanks to the era of audiovisuals.
Q. What are your earliest memories of reading and writing?
I have loved reading since I can remember, and I have been writing poetry since I was probably six or seven years old. Around that time, we (my parents, my siblings, and I) used to live in a small city called Bangor in Northern Wales, UK, where I learnt to read and write Welsh.
I remember getting a prize for Welsh and English, and the teacher tried to inspire the students in my class by mentioning a girl from India had managed to get the better of them in their own language.
I remember feeling a sense of pride, and I developed a certain belief in my language skills which stayed with me.
Q. Who are your favourite authors, and why?
I read a lot of fiction. So, it is obvious that my favourite authors would be story writers and novelists. I love Eric Segal, Leon Uris, Ayn Rand, Toni Morrison, Daphne Du Maurier, Cecelia Ahern, and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
The list is as endless as it is diverse in terms of genre and writing style. But they all tell great stories, brilliantly. I have just finished reading Bewilderment by Richard Powers and found it an amazing book.
As a child, I loved The World Of Oz books by Frank L Baum. In addition, I loved reading Enid Blyton and books like Pipi Longstocking.
Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes?
I wish SALISMANIA the best and hope it ranks highly among the important and prestigious publications. You play a great role in providing a forum for artists and writers to showcase their work.
The future is always bright if we take care of the present.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Ever wonder who lays out the stars that you see in the sky every night? And where the stars are during the day. Meet Twisha and Mishka, two fairies of the sky, the two entrusted with the task of looking after the stars.
But the two friends are very worried. The seven stars of the Big Dipper are missing. What are the fairies going to do? Can they find the missing stars?
Join the two fairies in their quest to find the stars as they uncover the mystery of what happened to the stars.
A book meant for young readers who love magic, adventures, and the mysteries of the universe.