Author Feature: Rina Singh

In Holi Colors, experience Holi with every color of the rainbow! This Hindu celebration known as the festival of colors and the festival of love signifies the end of winter, the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil. A time to laugh, play, visit friends and get messy! Little ones will love exploring the colors of Holi through the vibrant photographs and Singh’s playful rhymes in this brilliant concept book.

 

What planning and research did you do for you book?

To write a 100-word book is always a challenge. I loved relating the colors with things that are so symbolic in India, for example the peacock and the lotus.

What is your ideal writing environment?

In summers I like to sit in the backyard where I have a little outdoor fishpond and I heard birds and see squirrels running around. In winters I like to work in my study, which has a large window and a little fireplace.

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How do you decide on names for your characters?

Interesting question. The names usually come to me, and then, no matter how badly I want to change them, the original names demand to stay.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?

I’m fearful of writer’s block. Every time I finish a manuscript, I feel I will never be able to write again. I read a lot, go for walks and go to book stores or museums to get inspiration.

What was the last book you read?

It was Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She wrote about creativity and it’s sacred to me. I didn’t want to feel alone on this creative journey. The book is fabulous. She shows us how to tackle that we love so much even though what we love terrifies us. Creating art is a wonderful privilege, she writes, and I never want to forget that. The book truly inspired me.

Do you remember your dreams? Do they ever become inspiration for your writing?

Yes, I do remember my dreams and if I don’t write them down then I tend to forget them after a few days. I don’t think dreams have inspired any story but definitely I have written after just waking up from a dream. Sometimes I have dreamt the ending of my story or some lines that I was struggling with. When I’m struggling with something in the the story, I make sure I read it before going to sleep and many times the solution has come to me.

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In an alternate universe, what would your dream career be, other than a writer?

I can’t imagine doing anything else but in an alternate universe my dream career would be that of a travel photographer.

Do you have a secret or unlikely talent?

I love Buddhist monks. I travel to places in Asia where I can photograph them. I’ve been called a ‘monk stalker’ by my daughter, who incidentally does the same thing now that she has become a photographer herself. And I don’t know if this is a talent but I persevere. I don’t let go of an idea or a project. Even if the pursuit looks bizarre to other people, I’ll go to any length to bring my idea to life.

What types of conversations do you hope will come out of your book?

I hope people talk about diversity and how important and interesting it can be. Little ones will get to experience another culture. Hopefully that will lead to discussions on other cultures and finding beauty in them.

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Rina Singh has published several critically acclaimed books for children inspired by her Indo-Canadian heritage. Diwali: A Festival of Lights was nominated for the Red Cedar Award, and A Forest of Stories has been translated into many languages. For more information, visit www.rinasingh.com.

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