Hashwrite (Author-artist team of Preeta Chandran and Pankaj Kumar) is Author of the book The Chemical Drones, Especially for Kids .
About the Author:
HashWrite is the pen name of an India-based author/artist duo Preeta Chandran and Pankaj Kumar Saxena. They are the authors of two art-poetry books published in 2013 and 2018 respectively. As guest speakers at the Kolkata International Book Festival, they have been featured on one of the world’s largest television networks, Doordarshan. Preeta has appeared in numerous Indian and international anthologies and won awards from literary journals such as Muse India. She has also won a prize in the haiku contest of Hindustan Times Brunch. Pankaj has held prominence in exhibitions across the world. His work has been written about in leading dailies. Both of them have worked as former Operations Leaders at a global conglomerate and currently run a digital media company.
1: Why this genre? If you have to write in some other genre what that would be? –
We are passionate about children and often read children’s book ourselves. We felt there was a gap in this genre, and we wanted to design something with the kids of today in mind.
And it is these kids we wanted to reach out to, and hence this genre. While there are a lot of great books in this genre, there is also a lot of children’s fiction that doesn’t really enhance either vocabulary or overall knowledge or sense of values. A lot of India-based children’s books are purely moral stories and written in a way that does not resonate much with kids growing up in an age of technology.
What we have attempted is to continue to focus on the timeless values, but weave a story that is modern and global in context, with elements to engage the child of today. The story and the illustrations have both been designed with today’s kids in mind.
Another genre we’d love to write in some day is historical fiction.
2: Your favorite part from the book?
We love all of it 😊 Yeah, of course. But if we must answer with a favorite part, well, it is the end!
3: Tell us about the idea behind the book?
The arrival of a crisis brings together the entire cast of children who work passionately for their goal. Amidst this, their bond gets stronger. Their will to stand beside each other and help to get through an impasse is commendable.
We have tried to deliver powerful life lessons. It is with the portrayal of these children that we relearn the things we leave behind in the race of life – to stand up to our friends and just be there. There are also lessons for adults, by the way. How, for example, respect for and trust in children can go a long way in making gems out of them! The goal is both educating and entertaining the readers.
4: How much time it took in the process of writing?
From idea to fleshing out the story, and then writing and illustrating it, it took about 4 months. We also did some prototypes with children from different schools, and made revisions here and there for another month. So, end-to-end, about 5 months.
5: What did the process of writing this book teach you?
The key critical success factor was that we both have families and kids, and understand their current social aspirations and educational requirements. We run a digital media and technology company and work with global clients, so we have a fair understanding of the content and media requirements for this age group of global kids.
We always challenged each other’s thoughts/ideas/perspectives. We also involved kids and a few parents to do an initial test read and oh my, what perspectives and feedback we got from them, especially from the kids! We incorporated them in our final product. In a nutshell, this book writing was team work from all kinds of stakeholders, and that was an experience in itself.
6: What inspired you to write this book?
The gaps and the huge opportunity we see in the market for children’s books, especially in countries like ours, where kids aspire to become global citizens.
7: 5 books one must read in lifetime
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), Enid Blyton books (as many of them as one can…they are timeless!), The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger), 1984 (George Orwell). Hey, HashWrite is two of us, so please give us one more here 😊 The Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
8: A book that had an impact on you, which helped you in writing this one?
It’s actually a mix of not just books, but also songs! Books such as the school series by Enid Blyton. And a wonderful Utopian world song called Imagine by John Lennon.
“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
8: Tell us about your publishing journey in 5 words.
Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.
9: A quote, para from the book that inspires you?
You have a great bunch of kids with you. They have done more than I can imagine possible for kids to do.
10: Tell us about your future plans? Planning a new book?
If you’re talking about our literary plans, we want to take ‘The Chemical Drones’ to a wide audience. And yes, a sequel is also something we’re thinking about.
11: What is literary success for you?
If we’re talking about success and creativity then unless you’re struck by a materialistic idea of success, it is an ongoing process that begins as soon as you get that first bug of an idea and keeps expanding with your creative work. Success for us is about contentment, evolution, staying inspired, and making some positive contribution.
12: A message for all the readers.
We do hope this book resonates with our readers. For young kids, we hope it makes them smile, laugh, and think fondly of their friends, schools, and teachers. Of course, we do hope they take away some learnings too. We also hope that even adults, especially parents or anyone with kids around, will also love the chemical drones. And finally, we’d like to hear from our readers, their feedback on the book.
About the Book:
When a mischief lands Grade IV at the WonderWiz school in trouble, the Chemical Drones must save the day. Of course, it cannot be done in haste and without a plan. All of Grade IV comes together to hatch a plan.
What follows is a rollercoaster ride—ups and downs, fun, surprises and little miracles. Meet the Chemical Drones on their adventures. Explore WonderWiz and have fun at the Blitz. Find out if the Chemical Drones really save the day