Two Questions with Author Paro Anand

Was there any harrowing experience finding a publisher?

My book of plays I took to many publishers. Everybody said there was no market for children’s plays which I thought was really rubbish because every school—and there’re so many schools—needs to do plays …

I remember on one rainy day I kept on knocking every door at Ansari Road in Delhi, no matter whether they were text book publisher or academic publisher. But I was turned away by all of them. Then Vikas Publishers said they’re very interested. Could I do four volumes of plays, they asked. I was very thrilled.

I went back home and did what I was asked to. But by the time I got back, the editor who liked my work had already left! Then my search for a publisher started all over again. Finally the Children Book Trust said they would do it. It was my maiden book, but got published as my seventh book!

Which part of the day you earmark for writing?

I’ve a very flexi life! I live in two houses. I’ve about three jobs at any given time. I try to put pen to paper every day. I stopped trying to look for perfect circumstances. You know, I’d applied for the Charles Wallace Trust for a writer in residency in England because I was kind of struggling with what happens to be so far my biggest work: No Guns at my Son’s Funeral. I really wanted to get away from everything and just sit and write it. But I didn’t get the Charles Wallace. I was quite disappointed and was feeling very burdened. But then on a summer holiday I went with my mother. She said to me: You didn’t get Charles Wallace. Now think you’ve got it. Sit down and write. She took over everything that had to be done in the house. I had to do nothing but have a bath, eat, sleep and write. For about one and a half month I solidly wrote.

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