Author Interview : Anuradha Majumdar

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RivoKids had an opportunity to interview Anuradha Majumdar, Author of the Infinity Papers

{TeamRivo} Tell us a little about your book. Your inspiration behind the story.

I hadn’t planned on writing for children. I was tipped off by an owl in a banyan tree when I was out for a walk one day. It was a beautiful owl, perched on a high branch and it seemed to convey something to me in silence. When I got home, I sat down before my computer and wrote a synopsis for the trilogy: a story about three children who discover the lost island of Infinity and open the different gateways, marked on the shells of the messenger turtles which connect Infinity with the world in order to free it from the Dargate and allow peace and beauty to return to all people.

{TeamRivo} What is your favorite character in the book and why?

 I have a soft spot for all of them: Marina, Gautam, Tenzin and of course Spark. But Marina is special because she has the power to dream of Infinity and to really want to know it.

{TeamRivo} Describe your journey as an author. Did you always know you wanted to write?

I think I always wanted to write. I was fourteen when I wrote a poem, just like that, it was not a school exercise. I was fascinated by that live thing on paper and I kept reading it over and over as though there was so much more behind those words that I had to pull out and see. It was at that time that I began to read a lot more. I took a detour though, by becoming a dancer and a choreographer for many years, but finally got back to writing. I published short stories, poetry and fiction for adults. The Infinity adventures started soon after.

{TeamRivo} Do you have a specific writing style?

Not so much style as a voice. Each book has a different voice. The Infinity books have their own voice. Being a dancer probably had an impact on my writing. Breath and rhythm are important as I write.

{TeamRivo} How did you come up with the title?

Well, the owl sort of said, Island of Infinity. I thought that sounded good. However, in Infinity Papers we are in the midst of the new Infinity research that is about to take off. But difficulties and dangers crop up due to the Dargate and some very important research papers go missing. So Infinity plus Research.

{TeamRivo} Is there a message in your novel that you want kids to grasp?  

I don’t like handing out messages, but I like what Marina brings to us, a sense of the infinite that is so missing from the world and its eternal power. These are so needed to help us widen, to find courage, to seek out beauty and dream of a world without war and senseless greed. For Gautam beauty also means to be able to change. Can we keep our streets clean, learn to care and feel responsible about where we live? For Tenzin beauty means freedom: to go back to his homeland, to its mountains and rivers and to the peace that was once like a jewel in their lives.

{TeamRivo} Please give us some Tips for parents to encourage reading and writing in their kids.

Take them away from TV if you can, where every film, every news slot carries a gun or thrives on some kind of violence. It deadens a child’s sensitivity towards the world and other people. Tell them stories. Allow them to dream. Give them a book.

{TeamRivo} Which were your favorite books and authors growing up.

Through school days it was mostly fairy tales, Indian mythological stories, good old Enid Blyton, Jules Verne, Gerald Durrel, Cervantes, the Don Camillo books and I loved Shakespeare. And of course plenty of comics!

{TeamRivo} What are your current projects?

I’m working on a book about Auroville and I’m hanging out a fishing hook out for the next Infinity adventure.

{TeamRivo} What was the hardest part of writing your book?

See, that owl gave me a job: write about Infinity and the children who know all about it. So I can’t just make up fancy stuff. It has to sense right and the Infinity kids and Spark have to approve. I’ve had to delete a lot of good ideas, because even though they were exciting and fantastic, they were still not right for Infinity. So I got stuck, sometimes for a few days, or whole weeks. And finally, it would go ding, and the story would get back on track again.

{TeamRivo} Were you good at writing at school?

I had to be, I was such a dud in Maths.

{TeamRivo} What’s the worst thing about being an author?

Prefer not to know!

{TeamRivo} What do you do when you get stuck for ideas.

Go walking. Meditate. Discuss dinner ideas with my cat.

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