|Sarada is an Indian artist
writer, resident in the U.K. since 1973 and in Wales since 1990. Born
in Singapore she worked as a journalist for local newspapers. When she
arrived in London, she looked set to read law, but then spent the next
two decades raising a family; writing for the Northampton and Milton
Keynes weeklies during this time.
She has exhibited her artwork in various venues in England, Wales, Ireland and Australia and offered story-telling workshops through art, drama and writing in schools and universities; and also art therapy for mental health patients. The Hindu Story-Telling workshops also involved writing, as part of the National Curriculum in schools, colleges and universities.
Sarada has won awards in mini-tales in the ‘National Association of Writers’ Groups’ in Durham, the ‘Travel Award’ in 2009 and the ‘President’s Award’ in 2010 in the local writers’ circle and has had a few of her short stories published in both the University’s Anthology ‘Shadow Plays’ in 2010 and more recently in the local ‘Athena’.
She was awarded her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at Trinity St. David Carmarthen; University of Wales in 2012.
Recently Sarada has published several unique illustrated Hindu story books - notably 'Ganesha - Ten Tales', 'Savitri' and 'Meenakshi - Warrior Princess'.
At present she is preparing her novel 'The Neem Tree’ for publication.
Questions for Sarada
1. Are you working on another book?
Yes, I am at present writing and illustrating: Durga/Shakti-symbolises Power; the Force which, when given form is feminine. She is shown as Parvati, when she is gentle. Here she is the most ferocious aspects of Devi-Goddess Durga or Kali; she has eight or ten arms and is astride on a tiger or lion.
I am also working on publishing my novella, 'The Neem Tree.' This is a story about an outcaste girl and her
magical relationship with a mystical tree.
2. What is your preferred genre?
Ancient Hindu stories. I draw from my background. I have also written short stories on mystical, horror, humour and other themes.
3. What do you love most about writing in your genre?
I love writing and interpreting stories passed down age-old times to be able to entertain and inform the younger generations. Not only my children, and my grandchildren but also to anyone interested in these tales.
4. What is your writing style?
It changes - from the narrator, to the first-person or third person. I think the story unfolds, as I am holding the 'pen'/ the computer key (?).
5. What gives you inspiration for your books?
Different ideas, people, situations and emotions. Recently, I have 'come-out' with writing and drawing through MS. It gets me out of limitations, enabling me to fly into different worlds. I am not not disabled when I write or draw.
6. Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite?
All the characters have inspired me, but Neem/Nirmala/Prem, the protagonist in 'The Neem Tree,' is like my child who was born, and I have watched her grow and in time to reach her fulfilment.
7. What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
The nasty priest who abuses my heroine. (Although not all priests are bad - there are good ones too, of course.)
8. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced by becoming a writer?
I can go into this world and be happy; I enjoy writing. It has given me a voice in my own right.
9. What has been the best compliment?
'The picture-books are therapeutic for adults giving information and just as entertaining too, as they are for children.' -Philip
10. Tell us a little about your plans for the future?
I have quite a few books to write and illustrate, and a few more novel/novellas I would like to write...