F-Page – Kanika G



Kanika G

 


Facts

Born27th February 1983
Place of BirthMumbai
City of residenceMumbai
Books authored

  1. The Tania Series
    1. The Poor Bedraggled Kitten
    2. Tania Makes pancakes
    3. Tania’s Cycling Adventure
    4. Tania’s Treasure Hunt
    5. Tania Has An Idea!
    6. Tania’s Dilemma
    7. Tania Is A Detective
    8. Tania’s Costume Party
    9. The Little Narcissist
    10. Tania’s New Bicycle
    11. Tania’s Diwali Celebration
    12. Tania’s Discovery
    13. Tania Plays A Trick
    14. Bookworm Babies
    15. Tania Is A Spy
    16. Tania At School
    17. Tania’s School Picnic
    18. Eureka
    19. Tania Attends A Wedding
    20. Tania Gets Spectacles
    21. Tania’s Safari Adventure
    22. Tania Visits An Art Exhibition
    23. Tania Loses A Tooth
    24. Tania Casts A Spell
    25. Tania Makes Trouble
    26. The Blackout
    27. Tania’s Slumber Party
    28. Tania’s Martian Encounter
    29. Tania Gets Stitches
  2. Tania Anthology Series
    1. The Tania Quartet
    2. The Tania Duet
    3. Fun With Tania
    4. Naughty Little Tania
    5. Tania’s Adventures
    6. Learn With Tania
  3. The Misadventures of Toast Series
    1. What’s My Name?
    2. Buttered Toast Is Good
    3. Honey, I love you
  4. Tania’s Culinary Adventure Series
    1. Novice In The Kitchen.

Bio

Kanika G started writing to entertain her daughter. She likes to convert everyday experiences in to engaging stories. Mother and daughter write the stories together, and it is way for them to bond.

Kanika is the author of the Tania Series. The stories in the Tania series are simple, plausible experiences of a preschool girl. While the plots are fairly realistic, the stories are made engaging through dialogue. Tania is a curious, expressive and thoughtful little girl. Through her eyes the simplest of experiences are new, exciting and filled with wonder. The series covers a range of topics including art, craft, cooking, friendship, science, fun, adventure, injury, ethics, enterprise and more.

Kanika has also written a picture book trilogy called the The Misadventures Of Little Toast. These are picture books about the misadventures, mischief and mayhem of a little baby girl.

Her latest publication is Novice In The Kitchen is the first book in the new series Tania’s Culinary Adventures, featuring the same character Tania, from the Tania Series.

Kanika believes that children’s stories do not have to use simplistic vocabulary. She thinks that the words in the story should challenge the child’s language skills. Language has a lot of redundancy. A child can get the gist of a story without needing to understand
every word in it.  As the story is read many times over the child will understand the meanings of the new words from the context in which they are used.

Kanika also blogs about various parenting and women’s issues.

 


Fantastic Five – Five of my favourite books

Foundation and Robot Series – Isaac Asimov I loved how Elijah Bailey’s feelings towards robots in general, and Daneel and Giskard in particular evolved with time. The Foundation series was a masterpiece, in that it demonstrated that the best politicians know not to push society, or do anything dramatic, but to gently nudge it to evolve in the right way. I have read both series multiple times over the last decade and a half.

Garden of the Gods – Gerald Durrell This is the final book in the hilarious Corfu trilogy, and it has me in splits every time I read it.

Mystery series – Enid Blyton A childhood favourite that I still indulge in. When life gets me down this is the perfect comfort read. The  way the scones, meringues, and chocolate sponge are described, never fails to make me feel happy and comfortable.

Pride and Prejudice -Jane Austen It makes me speak English in the style the characters talk for a few days. It is such a feel good book.  The concept is so timeless. It reminds me of my budding romance with the man I married.

Beastly Tales – Vikram Seth I love the spin Vikram Seth gave these age old stories and the genius that went behind putting them in rhyme.

 


Face-to-face

Tell us about your earliest attempts at writing. When, where and from whom did you learn the nittygritties of writing?

I wrote some poetry as an adolescent, and a little more when I was in grad school. I always wanted to write stories, but somehow never got around to it till I started writing to entertain my daughter.

I had a lot of help from Maria Schneider of BearMountainBooks and Danielle Bruckert from FreeKidsBooks.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everyday experiences. Tweet

What does your typical working day look like?

As a mother of two I am happy to get a couple of hours of uninterrupted writing done in a day. On a good day I get four and on a bad day, none. But I have also learned to catch every 10 minutes I can, in between doing other things to pen down ideas to expand on later. I use every 10 or 20 minute block I can manage in the day to get little chunks of writing done.

What is one habit / trait of yours that makes you effective / productive as an writer?

Introspection. Tweet

I like to think about my choices and decisions and their impact. Then I imagine alternate scenarios and at some point come up with an idea for a story.

What is the one thing that you recommend every aspiring writer should do?

Write about what you know and what drives you.Tweet

Tell us something about yourself that very few people know?

Mainland China is my favorite restaurant.

Does technology (the Internet, software tools) help you in your writing process? If yes, can you tell us about them?

Yes. I write my books in Epub format using the free software, calibre. And of course Google is a great friend who answers all my questions.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others? (include websites, blogs or Twitter profiles, etc).

Kovid  Goyal

Can you tell about what you are currently working on and other works in the pipeline?

I am currently working on the sequel to Novice In The Kitchen, which is the first of the series Tania’s Culinary Adventures.

You were a researcher in Physics, and now a regular writer. Which is your primary vocation, research in Physics or writing?

I think professions are not like what they used to be. Today things change fast and so do our interests and opportunities. For ten years I was a dedicated physicist and I enjoyed it immensely. But when I found research was not making me happy anymore, I decided to take a break and found myself enjoying writing. So that is what I do now, and hopefully for some time to come. I never imagined I would become a writer when I was a physicist, so who knows what the future holds.

An online acquaintance of mine opined that you have set a bad precedent by leaving research and becoming a working from home mommy. Aren’t you conforming to the gender stereotype of the care-giving mother? Aren’t you sending a message to your daughters that a woman has to give up her career and take care of her children? Comment?

I think feminism is about having all the choices and making the ones that work for you. Whether you conform to a gender stereotype of defy it, you are allowing it to manipulate your choice. I think the gender stereotype should be taken out of the equation all together. If you prioritize your own happiness, convenience and satisfaction, and ignore what other people think of you for it, then you are teaching your kids the right stuff.

I planned my pregnancy at a time when I was already craving a change. I needed time to figure out what I wanted to do next. In the mean time bonding with my children was satisfying, and something I believed I would regret if I did not do. Once they start school I will work again, but on whatever catches my fancy at that time.

Only Mama figures prominently in the Tania series. Papa is visible here and there, but isn’t there prominently. In one of the stories, Papa in fact gives the slip, and escapes a difficult situation  (Sabudana Kichidi).
Is this a reflection of your real life (assuming that you draw inspiration from incidents in your life), or because you believe that parenting (at least at a young age) is predominantly a female role?

Yes, many Tania stories are drawn from my life experiences. Writing these books was my way of bonding with my daughter. That  is why Mama (I) figures so prominently. I use my daughter’s input and we write together. So those are the only two prominent characters because they are doing the writing. Other characters, including Papa, feature in only minor roles. It is not a reflection of who shoulders parenting responsibilities, but a celebration of my relationship with my daughter.

I don’t think of Papa as escaping a difficult situation but giving his honest opinion in a comical way. My husband has a wonderful way of comically delivering constructive criticism that motivates us to fix problems rather than offend us.

I don’t believe that parenting at any age is predominantly a female role. I believe both individuals in every couple should play to their strengths to optimize their efficiency as parents, and make family life as pleasant as possible for everyone involved.

Other than parenting what other work do you do?

I write children’s stories. I post on various blogging platforms, in addition to my own blog.  I write about parenting and women’s issues. I am working on a novel, but I am not yet sure it will see the light of day.

Have you tried to publish all your (Tania) books through a publisher? If no, why? If yes, what happened?

 If you notice the publication dates on the books, I was writing a couple of books a month initially. I found getting them published was too slow a process. I wanted my books out there and self publishing allowed me to do that. Eventually, I saw the need for paperbacks, as ebooks are not enough when it comes to children’s books. I approached a few publishers, but I was rejected. I don’t know if having self published the ebook versions, and making them available free had anything to do with that. But I soon found that it is not too hard to print the books myself, even though that makes it a little more expensive for illustrated books.

Besides, I like to work alone because of the flexibility it provides.

Can you tell us about your experience in self-publishing? What is the future of self-publishing?

I have found the biggest challenge in self publishing is getting the word out there about your books. A platform like free kids books has helped me a lot. There a few of my books have been downloaded over 30000 times and one has been downloaded over 50000 times. Blogging on parenting platforms has also helped me, market my books.

I can’t foretell what I am going to be doing in 5 years, so I wont pretend to know the future of self publishing. I can only hope it remains a viable option so some authors have a few less barriers to cross to get their books out there. Many people think self publishing is in competition with conventional publishing. I think the two can coexist so each author can choose what works best for them.

What is Calibre – what is your role in Calibre?

Calibre is a library management software with a great ebook editor. I use it to manage my ebook collection and I write my books in calibre’s editor directly creating them in EPUB format.

What is DRM?

DRM is digital rights management. It restricts the way in which a book can be used. DRM is considered necessary to prevent piracy but it is not very effective at that. What it does succeed in doing is locking users in to a particular device like kindle books with DRM can only be read on one particular kindle. It also punishes legitimate users by not allowing them to reformat books to their own taste, undercutting one of the advantages of ebooks.

Do you have a message for readers (both adults and children) of PMNM?

There was a time, I would read what I thought I was supposed to (to develop an impressive sounding reading list), instead of what I wanted to. I found that can sometimes take the fun out of reading.

So read whatever you feel like reading and the more you read the more you will want to read and even cover those books you think you are supposed to but this way you’ll enjoy them a lot more.Tweet

Find me at

Facebook:  Kanika G

Twitter:  @KanikaGee

Blog: Kanika G Books

Other forum(s):

Mycity4kids

Womens Web

Rivo Kids


PlusMinus’n’More: Thank you Kanika, for being our guest on F-pages, sharing with us your experiences as a writer and giving insightful answers to our queries.


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