Interview with Preethi Nair – Anjali’s Story, Children’s Book Writer

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  • What’s the main reason that made you become a writer? Writing was the best way I could express myself and make sense of my world.

  • What would you say to the women that follow us in Alhambra Women’s Network and Asian Mums Network and that want to start writing and publishing their books? Just begin. There is no secret formula and people might say but I haven’t done a writing course, I don’t know where to start, I don’t have time…. Just begin.

  • Can you tell us more about how the process of publishing your three books has been from start to finish? I self-published my first novel, Gypsy Masala as it was rejected by all the publishers. I set up my own publishing and PR company, promoted it under an alias alter-ego (Pru), got it into the book charts, and sold it off to HarperCollins as part of a 3 book deal. This was all whilst putting on a suit and pretending to go to work. My alter-ego, Pru, was short-listed as Publicist of the Year and  I won Young Achiever for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards.  My books were translated internationally and I went on to write and perform a one-woman show which is now being adapted for television. So a very up and down journey!

  • What inspired you to write your first children’s book, Anjali’s Story? I was teaching my ten-year-old daughter maths during Lockdown and it just wasn’t working. I was shouting a lot! I thought there must be a more engaging way to do this and so came up with an idea…I asked her if she were to start a business, what it would be. She said, “Lip Balm” and so we started a lip balm business so I could teach her division, fractions, percentages in a fun and meaningful way and keep our relationship intact during Lockdown and then I wanted to show her how to make the ordinary seem extraordinary so I fictionalised our story.

  • How would you describe Anjali’s Story in one sentence? Anjali’s Story is about a little girl who starts a business in Lockdown and dives into a very magical adventure.

  • What would you say the key messages of the book are to parents that are thinking to buy your book for their children? I want ALL children to see themselves as heroes of their story, to know that the biggest superpower they have is …being themselves and to know that with their wonderful imagination, anything is possible.

  • Where can we find the book?

Or in bookshops.

  • What is the biggest learning that you took from your childhood? Imagination is huge. With imagination, anything is possible.

  • What would you say to your younger self if she were growing up in this era? “Your crown is already paid for! You will fall/fail and that’s okay. Put your crown on straight and keep going.”

  • What is your biggest dream? It was to be a writer! It is to keep writing.

  • Any future projects that you can tell us about? I have just finished my fourth novel “Sari: The Whole Five Yards” and I am currently writing a pilot for the BBC.

Thank you!

Preethi Nair –

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