Joining us today is Viji Chary, author of the picture book, Porcupine’s Seeds. This is her debut book for children. Viji K. Chary was born in India and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. Her passion for writing stories began in elementary school and has evolved from coaching children in various activities, including gymnastics, classroom activities, and creative competitions. Her stories have been published in Highlights for Children, Ladybug Magazine, Hopscotch for Girls and many more.
Chary has lived in California nearly all her life. “I went to school and college here. I also worked in the science field here,” shared Chary. “My husband and I even raised our children with an emphasis on science and music. In the process, I’ve learned to be curious about various subjects. This is great for writing.”
She shared how her now two teenage children and two young nephews keep her busy. “My nephews love to read. They keep me in touch with my target audience,” shared Chary.
When Chary was younger, she loved Curious George, Amelia Bedelia and Little Bear books. She shared, “Although, writing is no longer in that format, I want to create something that is long lasting. I first became interested in writing in sixth grade. At that time, I used to read the same books I loved over and over again. I found it hard to find other interesting books.”
Chary has always felt a story should have excitement and her favorite part of writing for young readers is creating a text that flows smoothly. “This kind of writing is deceptively simple. With a few words, a writer must creative strong characters, a plot, a conflict and good resolution. It takes a lot of re-reading and re-writing,” said Chary. “However, the greatest challenge is to find a story that rings true with this audience that has not been overdone. It cannot be ‘babyish’ and should not be beyond the audience’s grasp.”