Reading Journey
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Reading Journey

In conversation with Ananya Ganesh

Ananya Ganesh is a young author whose first book “9 Chocolatey Bites” , has won her many accolades. The book is a collection of short stories for children and is a delicious read, just as the title suggests. Ananya was recognised as “Young Achiever” by the Downtown Icon Awards and as “Kidpreneur” as part of Wei-FA in 2017. She was also recognised as one of the Inspiring Authors of India by TheIndianAwaz in November 2018. In this interview, she tells us more about what inspired her to write “9 Chocolatey Bites”, her passion for writing and her thoughts on how children can be encouraged to read for pleasure.

What inspired you to write ‘9 Chocolatey Bites’ ?

I don’t think there was any one particular source from which I was constantly hit at with light-bulbs. But a majority of the stories were born when I was travelling – forget a quiet forest, even a bustling city full of anxious commuters and the constant beeping of horns can trigger ideas. The most important thing that we can do is look – look, every single second of the day, for inspiration, ideas, stories woven into the fabric of everyday life and before you know it, your mind will be overflowing with possibilities and words.

A majority of the stories were born when I was travelling – forget a quiet forest, even a bustling city full of anxious commuters and the constant beeping of horns can trigger ideas.

At what age did you start writing?

I began penning down (very) short stories and role plays for school assignments as a 7 year old, but, by the time I was nine, my teachers began to encourage me to write whenever I had the chance. Owing to the stacks of loose papers filled with scribbles flying around our house, my parents decided that they wanted to do something with my writing abilities and now we have ‘9 Chocolatey Bites’!

What motivates you to write?

I think the thought that, somewhere, someone enjoying your stories, the ones that make them laugh out loud, the ones that inspire them, is what keeps me going and pushes me to keep writing so I can see that goofy, happy smile on someone’s face.

What kind of books do you read to unwind?

I particularly enjoy middle grade fiction and fantasy, with the occasional sci-fi. My go-to authors in these areas are Kate Messner, Wendy Mass, Tara Dairman, Tae Keller, Stacy McAnulty, Melanie Conklin and Lynda Mullaly Hunt. My favourite reads would be ‘Fish In A Tree’, ‘The Candymakers’, ‘The Great Hibernation’ and ‘Sugar and Ice’, to name a few.

Some children just don’t like to read. In your opinion and experience why do you think some children dislike reading?

I think, most of the time children say they don’t like to read, because they haven’t been exposed to the genre that they would enjoy. It is indeed very hard to gauge the kind of reading experience a young child would like, but once you throw them into the right one, they’ll be hooked. Let them take their pick, and they will love it, someway or the other, in the end.

It is indeed very hard to gauge the kind of reading experience a young child would like, but once you throw them into the right one, they’ll be hooked.

What would be your suggestion to parents who are trying hard to get their children interested in reading?

Sometimes, as an effort to keep their child entertained, what some parents do, is constantly give their child a choice of device over book. For a young child, pages and pages of text are obviously not anywhere near as appealing as the bright, visual extravaganza devices provide. So, the best thing, in my opinion, would be to let kids be kids – if they want to read a picture book, let them, don’t discourage them by not considering picture books as actual ‘books’. There are some kids who just don’t enjoy reading and we can’t really do much about it. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a wild imagination! Devices bog down that artistic and creative eye. So if your child doesn’t seem to find reading appealing even after numerous efforts, let them listen to stories. There are so many other ways to ignite a child’s creativity, apart from. reading – send them to read-aloud sessions, tell them your own stories and make them make up ones of their own – your encouragement is what keeps them going.

There are some kids who just don’t enjoy reading and we can’t really do much about it. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a wild imagination! Devices bog down that artistic and creative eye. So if your child doesn’t seem to find reading appealing even after numerous efforts, let them listen to stories.

Are there any books in the pipeline waiting to get published?

Yes indeed, I am currently working on publishing a novella in the kids fiction genre and an anthology of poems, both ‘coming soon!’ :)

Please provide links to the sites on which interested parents can buy your book as well as any other link such as website or Facebook page etc, that you would like to share with parents.

One can purchase ‘9 Chocolatey Bites’ on Amazon India (http://amzn.in/d/4ZQJ3ew), Amazon USA, UK, Kindle. I am on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnanyaVGanesh/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ananyavganesh).

For more such discussions on encouraging children to read for pleasure, please join THE READING JOURNEY BY MERRYGOBOOKS GROUP on Facebook.

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