Full interview with author-Nalini Raghunandan.

Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is Nalini Raghunandan. I am married and have two wonderful daughters and an adorable 3-year-old grandson. I was born in Guyana and currently live in Markham, Ontario. I currently work in telecommunications; however, prior to working in telecommunications, I was an elementary school teacher and an early childhood educator for 15 years, both in Guyana and Jamaica. This is where my passion for literacy and cultural diversity started. When I am not working, I enjoy writing, travelling, reading and spending time with my family.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Fanny the Champ’ book?

I had the idea to write a children’s illustrated book since my early years as a teacher/educator. The story and images have been on my mind for several decades now, so as you can imagine, articulating my abundant thoughts in a limited number of words for age appropriate readers was the greatest challenge. However, this led to the book series.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I loved reading as a child however there wasn’t a library where I grew up. My father bought us books even though owning our own children’s books was such a luxury at the time. I was fascinated with classic fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Rumpelstiltskin. However, as you can imagine there wasn’t much diversity in those books and I want all children to be represented in my stories.

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

My favourite spot is Bluffer’s Park in Toronto. It has a 5KM walking and biking trail. The water is blue and there is lush greenery in the summer. I find tranquility and peace just looking at the lake.

Q5. Are there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

Before I begin to write I make sure my work space is quiet with no clutter. I would try to formulate the story/scenes in my mind, create a title/placeholder for the book—then the magic begins with a pencil and paper.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Fanny Saved the Day’ book?

Because of my full-time job, it took me approximately 6 months to complete the final transcript of Fanny Saved the Day.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find your books to buy?

My books can be found on Amazon, Good Reads, Barnes & Noble, Books Depository and Abe Books.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the cover and the title of your books?

Growing up, we had a dog named Fanny. He was a rescue we found him lying on the side of the road. He was just a tiny puppy. Fanny was gentle, loving, funny and adventurous, so the name “Fanny” was an easy pick. The remainder of the book titles emerged from the story. I have a few names for Book 3, but the title will depend on how the story evolves.

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Nalini Raghunandan is the author of a Children’s Picture Book series. She published Fanny the Champ, the first book in the series on March 2017. Her second book, Fanny Saved the Day is a story about Fanny and the new schnauzer sidekick Pépita check out the village fair where quick thinking and a heroic act continue to change the lives of those around them. Full of brilliant and lively illustrations, it’s an adventure not to be missed! Nalini was born in Skeldon, Guyana. Before moving into telecommunications, she was a schoolteacher for 15 years—both in Guyana and Jamaica—where she developed a passion for spreading the love of literacy and cultural diversity.

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