I first met Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen at theNESCBWI conference where she taught a picture book workshop with energy and humor. I was hooked. I took a couple of her on-line courses and when I won a phone critique, her approachable, down to earth helpfulness didn’t surprise me. I’m thrilled to welcome her back to Writers’ Rumpus!
Kirsti Call: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen: Wow, we’re starting off with a toughie! It is really hard to identify just one favorite thing about being an author, as there are many very satisfying and wonderful things – and so I feel like, every time I’m asked this question, I highlight a different “favorite” part!
So, if it is ok with you and your readers, let me cover a few things I love about being an author.
I love that I have a job that allows me to be creative, and that my creativity is entirely guided by me.
I love that I get to create something out of nothing. In a world where there is so much negativity, it’s nice to feel like I can put something good into the universe using only my heart and mind (and, eventually, an editor, a publisher, an illustrator, an art director, a designer, a copyeditor….you get the idea!).
I love the connections that my work allows me to form – with kids, parents and teachers. Hearing someone’s personal experience with my books really puts into perspective how significant each life touched truly is.
I love that I can talk to imaginary friends and not have other people think I’m crazy.
And, lastly, I love that I can do most of my job barefoot in my bed in my pajamas.
KC: What is your least favorite thing about being an author?
SBQ: Well, that’s another hard one. After everything I told you there is to love, how could there even be a least favorite part? :) But I will give it a try…I think my least favorite part is how subjective a reader’s approval or appreciate of my work can be. Having come from a science background, I would love it if I could figure out the “right” way to write and then follow those same steps every time to get the same results. Instead, I have to do my best and hope that the right amount of fairy dust gets sprinkled on my words to ensure that the reader will love the story as much as I do.
KC: How long did it take you to publish your first book?
SBQ: My first children’s book to be published was not a picture book. It was actually a science book called CHAMPIONSHIP SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS. I started writing in the fall of 2002; I signed the contract for that book in April 2003.
I know that sounds super-quick – and it was! – but it wasn’t the result of me doing something awesome. A lot of it was just dumb luck. I mentioned my science background in a cover letter for a picture book submission to Sterling. They rejected the picture book, but in her response, the editor asked if I’d consider writing a science experiment book for them. That became CHAMPIONSHIP SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS.
Read the rest of this post here, at Writer's Rumpus!