My time at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada spurred my imagination and taught me the value of creative thinking.
I was brought up on three different continents in five different countries. The rich diversity of cultures, values and beliefs I was exposed to as a child influenced my thinking and shaped my global perspective.
Being exposed to different languages made me realize that words have emotive power. Words can make us laugh or cry. They can make us sing or crush us. As a result, I fell in love with reading books from an early age. This also sparked my love for writing.
It is this delight in reading and in being curious, in poking and sniffing, that I want to share with children. In my writing I like to motivate tweens to acquire self-esteem and creative problem-solving skills. My book, The Weird Adventures of Virgo Capella, is full of adventure in the modern day with a twist of surreal fantasy.
I am currently working on my second adventure book in the series, The Search for Geo Treasure. It is based on my geo-caching experiences.
I live in Toronto with my husband. He claims we are the world’s oldest children—I heartily agree. When not teaching or writing, I hang out at the Ontario Science Centre. I love to go on hiking and geocaching trips in the great outdoors, star parties and travel to lively towns in Ontario.
I have always been under the spell of words and felt that children are special. Writing for children allows me to devote my time to my love of children and writing.
Growing up in many different countries, I have seen children living in palaces and in slums. Seeing the squalor has wrenched my heart with unbearable pain. For this reason I volunteered for UNICEF for many years. I slowly realized that apart from the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, there are two qualities that can help every child to face the trials of life.
What is Important?
I know that these two qualities helped me to overcome my own severe mental and emotional handicaps. I feel it is important to instill these two qualities in children so that they can rise above the challenges outside and inside them.
What are these two qualities? I believe they are self-esteem and imagination. This is what I try to convey when writing stories. We need to nurture both warriors who can use knowledge as their weapon, and dreamers with a dash of humour. One is not good enough without the other. It is the blend that acts as a catalyst that leads to a happy and successful life.
And isn’t that what we all want for our children?