Friday, May 13, 2011

Children's author, Viji Chary

Today, my guest is children's author, Viji Chary, talking about Porcupine's Seeds, a picture book.

1.     Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.

I have been writing for sixteen years. My first success at creative writing was in sixth grade when my group voted my story as the best in the class. At that time, I thought I might want to pursue writing at some point in my life. After my son was born, I decided to take a class on writing for children. I continued taking classes and studying published material on my own. As time passed, I came to appreciate words for the moods, characters, plot and overall story they can create.

2.     Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?

I am a part-time writer. At the beginning of each year, I write out my overall goals. Then on Sundays, I write out the goals for the week and try to follow through. Anything that is left over is moved to the following week.

3.     What influences your writing?

Many things. Reading news articles, watching movies, interacting with people and travelling will spark ideas. Reading published material shows that there is more than one way to approach the same subject.

4.     Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?

Porcupine’s Seeds will be my first picture book. I have written for children’s magazines, both fiction and non-fiction. I have written for adult anthologies and e-magazines. My puzzles have also been published.

5.     Why did you choose to write a children's story?

I have always enjoyed reading children’s literature, even as an adult. When I write, I am able to let go, create without holding back, and then adjust my creation. So, writing for children and sparking their imagination seemed the obvious choice.

6.     What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?

When my son was two, we planted seeds in small pots. As he went inside, he tripped on the threshold and the soil and seeds flew all over the place. With this incident, I developed a character, his motive for wanting to plant plants, more conflicts, and a satisfying ending. Then of course, I needed to revise my work. Although it is under contract, “Porcupine’s Seeds” has not been published yet, but I look forward to the process.

7.     What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?

I have been told self-publishing requires you to wear many hats. For me, finding a suitable illustrator, book press, and all the legal work are daunting tasks. I would rather spend the time honing my skills as a writer, rather than going into the side of book publishing at this time.

8.     What is your marketing strategy?

I am still developing my ideas for marketing. As I move closer to publication, I plan to create a website for Porcupine’s Seeds, a trailer, and to look for opportunities for schools visits.

9.     What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?

I have heard that picture book writers do not need an agent to be published. Also, many agents seem to shy away from representing picture book authors.

10.  Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

The best place to find out about my work is

11.  Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?

The most important is to read current books on in the genre you want to write. The more you read, the more ‘feel’ you get for the genre.

12.  Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it will be available.

Porcupine longs to grow beautiful sunflowers in his garden just like Raccoon. When Raccoon gives Porcupine seeds, he assures that all they need is soil, sun and water. But growing sunflowers is not easy for Porcupine. The soil spills, the seeds tumble away, and the watering can is too heavy. Now, Porcupine is more determined than ever. Is all lost when Porcupine drops the pot and it breaks into many pieces?

Porcupine Seeds will be published in 2015 from 4RV Publishing. More information will be available on my website after it is published.

I’d like to thank Penny for the opportunity to visit with her and her readers. Thank you.


  1. For a part-time writer, you certainly get a lot done, Viji. How wonderful that your son inspired Porcupine's Seeds! Congrats on its pending publication, and good luck with all your future writing.

  2. Pat, thanks for commenting and stopping by.

  3. I enjoyed the interview. It's always fun to learn where an author gets their inspiration for a story. Porcupine's Seeds sounds like it will be a delightful picture book for children.

  4. Susanne, glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for commenting.