It has been a roller-coaster of a year. Half-way through the year, I left my grown-up day job and became a full-time writer and storyteller.
Since June, I’ve been writing, performing, telling stories in festivals, bookshops and schools. It’s been six months of this new life where I get to write as long as I want, visit schools and work with children on their stories any day of the week and travel across the world to meet readers.
I’ve also started teaching a course at City Uni, on writing picture books and junior fiction, which is a full circle because I started my career as a teacher, way back in 1992.
I’ve done over 24 events for children, 20 for grown-up and visited 44 schools in the year. I got shortlisted twice and won my first award. So all in all, it has been a year of wonderful book stuff.
You’re Safe With Me (illustrated by Poonam Mistry, published by Lantana Publishing) came out in May 2019 and has received rave reviews. We followed that up with the Christmasy You’re Snug With Me (illustrated by Poonam Mistry, published by Lantana Publishing) and it has made some of the Best of 2018 lists.
Pattan’s Pumpkin (illustrated by Frané Lessac, published by Otter-Barry Books) came out in paperback with a new cover. In the Farmer Falgu (illustrated by Kanika Nair) series, Book 3 and Book 4 has been released into the UK by Red Robin Books.
It’s been a busy 6 months daydreaming, imagining, writing, performing and working with children and adults on their stories. I’m going back home to India to relax, rejuvenate and yes, research before I head to the US again for the release of my next book with Candlewick Press.
Next year promises to be as busy as this one was. I’m grateful to everyone who has given me an opportunity to write and perform this year and hope to bring more stories to everyone in 2019. I wish all of you a wonderful festive season with your family and friends. Have a happy new year. May your new year bring a lot of joyous moments.