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Unlocking imagination | Children’s book author shares advice for aspiring writers

Children’s books hold a special place in a child’s development, offering education, entertainment, and inspiration while nurturing a lifelong love for reading. India Today recently interviewed Shashank Gupta, a children’s book author with almost three decades of experience. Despite his extensive writing career, Gupta still regards himself as a young writer. He shared his creative process, emphasizing that successful children’s books require pace, originality, and a sense of discovery. Gupta’s inspiration to write for children came after authoring 15 books for adults. He aimed to create books that both entertain and educate children.


Key elements for successful children’s books, according to Gupta, include pacing, originality, and a sense of discovery. Children are curious and intelligent and desire to be engaged, challenged, and educated. Gupta’s creative process involves simplicity, originality in language, and writing with a red ink fountain pen to maintain focus. He allows his characters to guide the story and commits to avoiding cliches. Gupta shared the challenges he faced in the children’s book writing world, emphasizing the struggle to prove that an original story is more valuable than predictable formulaic books. Despite numerous rejections, he persisted until he found a publisher who believed in his work.


Gupta’s current book, “Visitors to the House,” explores the stories of five individuals staying in a house in the hill town of Didoli during the early 1970s. The narrative transports readers to a simpler and slower time when people had more time for one another and the simpler aspects of life.


For aspiring children’s book authors, Gupta advises maintaining a day job until having at least two successful books published. He underscores the importance of perseverance, enjoying the writing process, and learning from one’s mistakes and critiques. Aspiring writers can find valuable resources, workshops, and organizations online to aid in their journey. Gupta encourages learning from reading books and filling pages, allowing room for growth and embracing criticism.

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