I’d like to sit on this beach with my writing pad and jot down notes for my new novel. My guest, Pooben Narayanen, is lucky enough to do this if he wants to, as he lives in this paradise that is Mauritius.
Here is Pooben to answer some interview questions I asked him.
1. How do you feel about being a writer?
I enjoy it, but it is tough. You have ideas in your head and then you have to motivate yourself to put them down on paper or type them up on your computer. That is the toughest part.
2. What kinds of things do you like to write about?
Oh wow! There are several things, but here are my favorites starting with fiction: writing for children, also horror or the paranormal, and everyday life. Non-fiction: if I could I’d write about people. All kinds of people, real people. I’d write about what it is they do, what their life is like and what their thoughts are. I mean regular everyday people – no superstars – just people. The goal, I think, is to prove that the social construct – that is race, ethnicity, and all those other divisive elements – are irrelevant. To prove we are all the same.
3. What is the title of your book?
The Mount Hope Explorers Club and the Great White.
4. Can you tell us in 25 words or less what it’s about?
Three ten-year-olds living in Mauritius meet a great white shark, and they have to save it!
5. There is a lot of swimming and snorkeling in your book. Did you grow up loving the water? Tell us about it.
I was taught how to swim in the ocean at a very young age, but we moved a lot, so I didn’t get to follow through in the younger years. When we lived in Mauritius, going to the beach was a big deal. My parents were busy with work and in Mauritius, people frown upon activities such as snorkeling. When you are in school you should be studying. So for a long time snorkeling was not an option. I started getting into it when I got older.
6. Did you have a group that you hung out with when you were about ten years old?
I wish I could say yes but there wasn’t much of a group. I hung out with some of the kids where I lived.
7. What kind of mischief did you and your friends get into?
One thing I remember is playing army in my grandmother’s vegetable patch. It was awesome because part of the garden was like a jungle. We would spend hours playing there. My grandma would get mad because we’d run through the good vegetable patch!
8. What is the motto of your characters in the Explorer’s Club? What is their goal, their aim, as they pursue their adventures?
The motto is “Never be bored.” Their goal is simply to keep busy and keep things interesting. They know, thanks to Dr. Gail, their mentor and curator at the Mount Hope Museum, that the world is full of interesting things – starting with Mount Hope village.
9. Do your characters end up having learned something in the story that has improved them in some way? What values have they learned that will aid in their growth towards adulthood?
My hope is that the characters grow to become citizens of the world. They are open-minded and pragmatic. The main values they are learning are fairness, acceptance, and empathy.
10. What are your favourite hobbies?
If I had the time it would be hiking and snorkeling. One or the other would make me happy!
11. What is your favourite way to spend time with your children?
Right now it usually involves running around according to their schedule. You go through a range of emotions in those moments.
12. Would you like it if your children did the activities that your characters do in your book, if they were the age of your characters? Why or why not?
I think I’d love that. To have that kind of freedom would be amazing but reality is different, right?
13. Do you have another book planned? Without giving away the plot, can you tell us what type of book it will be?
I have started working on the second book. The Mount Hope Explorers Club go to the Red Island: Madagascar. They find themselves involved in a possible coup, international intrigue, and dodgy people.
14. Where can people buy your book?
Thanks for your visit, Pooben. I’ve read The Mount Hope Explorers and the Great White, and I think anyone with children would enjoy reading this to them or having them read it for themselves. Lots of good adventures with page-turner quality. Best of luck with your books.