Archana Saboo, author of AdiKool in #AfricanAdventures, was a full-time mother till two years ago, and it was only when her children went to boarding school that she turned to writing. She is also an entrepreneur, and will soon launch her spa, Samskara. We spoke to her about her writing process:
Do you write everyday? When and where do you write?
No, I most definitely do not write everyday, but I do think of lines, situations and ideas on a day-to-day basis, which I store on the notes app on my phone, or a notepad, or just in my head, whichever is most readily available. I also keenly observe body language and mannerisms, especially quirks, of others. Being funny is a serious business!
AdiKool is a kids’ book and is inspired by my own kids, but ironically the only time I get to write is when they are away in school (they are both in boarding school). When they are home, it is a mad house, but it gives me a lot of matter to write later.
I used to write on actual paper till not so long ago, but thankfully I learnt how to think while typing. My sofa (at home or at the resort) is my workplace while writing.
Do you listen to music while you write? What’s on your playlist right now?
I like writing in a quiet place and find listening to music very distracting while writing or thinking. My playlist at the moment has Lean On, Middle and Downtown all hooked magically by airplay to all possible speakers, and my house is a discotheque from the House of Noise… Needless to add, my kids are home for their holidays right now! And equally pointless to say, I am not writing at all at the moment.
What’s your go-to-site for distracting yourself while you write? Or do you refuse to browse while writing?
My go-to-place for distraction is good old Facebook. I say it without the slightest apology! For writing inspiration, I like to browse Huffington post.
How difficult is it writing for teens? Where does the inspiration for Adi come from?
Writing for teens is not as easy as it seems. You have to get into their head-space and think and talk like them. When I initially told my friends that I had written a ‘Kids book’, their reaction was, ‘But you write so well, why didn’t you write something better?’ After reading AdiKool, however, they seemed to have changed their minds, and many of them have called me to say they hadn’t laughed so hard in ages.
I didn’t have to look for inspiration too far from home: my two kids are the reason why I started to write. After both of them left for boarding school, I missed them so terribly that I created this whole fictional family — the Kools — who were our alter egos. But what started loosely as our story soon turned into a laugh riot as the characters developed their own personalities and started having their own misadventures.
As a mother yourself, what do you look for in children’s writing from India?
I look for writing that is real and relatable. Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of that happening in kid’s space right now with Indian authors. I personally love Amar Chitra Katha stories for kids. My kids are reading Percy Jackson and Harry Potter at the moment.
Archana Saboo’s AdiKool in #AfricanAdventures is now available on the Juggernaut app here