It’s such a treat to see some of the same faces I got acquainted with at Bookaroo in Delhi!

And the wonderful thing is we’ve kind of gotten past that initial euphoria stage, if you know what I mean.

One of the things I try very hard NOT to do is to hog a conversation. I have my family to thank for that! They’ve trained me well! In times past when I became overbearing they did well to point it out and I find myself catching myself before I have a chance to become too obnoxious, I hope.

But at the same time, on these overseas trips, I find myself ‘on’ a lot!

‘On’ is that state when I’m reaching out to people, gregarious, talking up a storm, basically engaging them in conversation.

But here in Pune, I’m finding that with some of the folks I’ve met at Bookaroo Delhi we’ve passed that stage already, and we’re sitting back and having very interesting conversations!

Just spent some fascinating time with a Muslim storyteller I’d initially met in Bangalore (I think, though he might have been in Delhi). And he told me how he got into storytelling.

He tells to autistic kids, and I thought, “Wow!” That’s probably the hardest audience there is!

He even gave me pointers on how to keep them more engaged.

It was great! I got a chance to shut up and listen, sharing shop talk, even sharing some Mullah Nasruddin stories.

He told me some I’d never heard of and I told him some he’d never heard of!

I heard about the history of India, and I got to chat with a fascinating illustrator/photographer and we discussed why publishers often keep authors and illustrators at bay from each other.

I told him there’s a very good reason for this practice!

He sounded kind of sad when he said only a few of the writers for whom he’d done illustrations had ever contacted him about them.

The illustrator needs to be left to ply their craft, to interpret the authors words without interference!

And especially when authors are just starting out they can be quite the control freaks.

I remember hearing a picture book author I admire, Jo Ellen Bogart, sum it up perfectly when she said that she’d learned to let go and just waited to see what surprise the illustrator would come up with.

Yup, that pretty much sums up my attitude towards it now too.

But that said I do like contacting the illustrator after the process and expressing how much I like their work. But then I would only do that if I’m sincere, and I am.

There have been many newspaper articles done on Bookaroo as well as myself. I’m glad to say that the organizers are pleased with the media attention.

Just finished a photo shoot where the photographer asked me to show the kinds of faces and poses I do in my storytelling session.

The pictures are hilarious. Makes me wonder which ones he’ll use.

I think on Sunday the Times of India, which already ran a beautiful article on me, will be running another profile sort of piece. Looking forward to seeing it!

In the meantime, here’s the Times article they did:

Have to go down to the restaurant in a half hour for the pre-Bookaroo launch party. Should be fun!

Over and out in Pune.