Our new author, Saloni Surah, has published her magical children’s book today, Flora Investigates: The Case of the Missing Gold Eggs. Through all her excitement, she found time to tell us about her and her writing.
How would you describe your book?
A funny, magical merry-go-round adventure full of bigger-than-life characters.
Who is your reader?
I know it’s for children, but it’s really for anyone who loves magic, fun and a bit of adventure. I love reading children’s books.
Tell me about the story of your story.
This is loosely based on my husband’s friends and family. My mother-in-law kept chickens, and one went missing a few years ago, and when my husband first took me to Florence and I met his friends, family and pets, a story blossomed. I just became creative and embellished Gina, the chicken’s disappearance.
Why did you set it in Florence?
My husband, his friends and family are from Florence.
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Yes, many of them are based on friends and family in Florence. However, I’ve changed their appearance, name and personality traits.
Have you always wanted to write?
Yes, for as long as I can remember. When I was in school, I wrote about strawberry fields and cat people who lived on the moon. But then life, my medical career, exams and unsociable hours took over.
Where do your ideas come from?
Oh, tough question. Some are inspired by people and events, while others are totally made up. I have a little farty elf dying to let me tell his story (inspired by my eldest child), but I also write about fairies. They popped up when I lived in Dublin.
How long did it take to write?
Ah, that’s difficult to say as I have a lot of books ‘on the go’, and some have been written many times over, while others are currently having a rest and jostling for their time to shine.
Did you enjoy writing it?
Yes, mostly, except when I get feedback and need to make big changes.
Do you plan out your story?
No, but that would have been a good idea. However, I did start writing this about four years ago though, so a lot has changed.
Any lessons learned?
Absolutely! To plan my story. To not get so overwhelmed with feedback and to have more fun with it all.
When you are not writing, what else do you do?
Look after my little cheekies, try to do some yoga and have time for me, go for walks in the woods (I have been known to hug trees), and play with fairies.
What did you read growing up?
Roald Dahl (pure magic), Enid Blyton, and Nancy Drew. I love reading.
Any advice for a new author?
Is the book how you imagined it to be?
Yes. I absolutely love Lisa’s images of Flora and the cover!
Are you writing anything else?
Yes, I’m currently working on The Last Fairy Guardian, which I hope to release later this year. It’s a middle-grade book about a forbidden friendship between a human girl and a flower fairy when the fairy forest is threatened. Wings are at risk here!
What was the best thing about working with TAUK Publishing?
Estelle’s help with the plot, storyline and the help and support as it can be very lonely writing.
Saloni’s book is now available on Amazon.