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Komal Panwar


JWB Gets A Ride Into African Adventures With Author Archana Saboo

  • JWB Post
  •  July 22, 2016


The world of children is magical. Their world has beautiful creatures, stars that talk to each other, fascinating stories, and a colorful environment. Children are free of ridiculous issues. What a beautiful life they’ve got!

Every day, I have wanted to time travel back to the era when my mother was preparing mango shakes for me while I was watching cartoons, and then I’d run downstairs, put on my shoes and play badminton.

Archana Saboo, a children’s writer, who recently published her book Adikool in #AfricanAdventures, got a chance to live the life of a child, and yes, it makes me jealous.

She writes, “I want to be Unslottable like water, now a jug, now a glass, like wind, now a breeze, now a storm.”

Isn’t that beautiful? To be unstoppable, limitless, to be a wild wave teasing the sea, that’s the dream. To steal a glance into Archana’s magical world, I met her and was already smitten by her elegance and enthusiasm for life.

Me: What books did you read as a child?

Archana: I used to read a lot of Enid Blytons in my childhood. In fact, we were such geeks back in school that we also played the characters of our own Famous 5.

Me: How did you get the idea for this book?

Archana: I’ve always just written down my thoughts, especially with both my kids studying in the boarding school, I’ve been rather free. I travel a lot so I had my own travel journal. And thus, I ended up writing this book.


Me: Do you think the level of literature for kids from India is satisfactory or not?

Archana: Not many Indian authors are writing Children’s fiction. I mean Jhumpa Lahri and Vikram Seth are doing a great job, but they’re not so much relevant for the children today.

Yes, there’s a need for more children’s authors.

Me: Has there been any short story idea that has woken you up in the middle of the night, just to write it?

Archana: Actually, I’m working on making a series out of Adikool. My next book is half way through. It takes Adi to his ancestral village where there’s no WiFi, or any network. They are struggling to survive without it all.

Somewhat like how our kids would behave if the internet was snatched away from them. 

Me: Do your kids inspire your story characters?

Archana: The protagonist Adi is inspired by my son. He’s naughty, and can in no way, be boxed up in one place. He’s a brat and thinks he knows everything. He also tries to get away with shortcuts, just like my son! 

Me: Do you maintain a diary to pen down your thoughts? If yes, can you share something from the diary?

Archana: I do pen my thoughts down: 

The Girl In The Mirror

The mirror shattered

Into shards

Of painful glass

That nicked

And hurt


It broke

With a thud

And a clink


In a wink


Each bit



Over and over



But why didn’t I


The same?


I looked



And all the while

I thought

It was the mirror

The broke

 Me: Wow, Archana, that’s such a beautiful piece of poetry. 

Archana: Thank you! 

Me: Who is your critic at home?

Archana: My brother is my critic. I like getting his opinion. Though, it’s tough to get my husband to reading. *giggles*

My brother enjoys reading and often reads whatever I send him and gives an honest opinion! 

Me: Your favorite bedtime story?

Archana: I don’t really read bedtime stories, I watch a movie sometimes! 

Me: Share some tips for parents to inculcate reading practice in their children.

Archana: Read some books yourselves, parents! Children follow examples. I read a lot, and the kids get inspired and curious, too.

My son is studying at The Doon School in Dehradun, and you know what his English teacher told me when I met her? She said that your son can get away with murder in my class because he’s a reader.

I felt so proud of my son! 

Me: What is the importance of illustrations in books for children?

Archana: Well, I’m an illustrator myself. When I submitted my manuscript, I also sent them some illustrations that I had hand-drawn. They were later inculcated into the book.

Children are visual people. They are surrounded by technology, so it’s very easy for them to get bored. Illustrations fascinate them and keep them hooked to what they are reading. Sometimes, no matter how interesting the words, they can get boring. So yeah, illustrations are really important. 

Me: That’s true! When I was a kid, I used to initially pick books on the basis of the number of illustrations they carried! People who want to publish in the paperback struggle a lot. What opportunities do they have in the digital world?

Archana: Juggernaut is a mobile book app. It is tech savvy, and very convenient, too. Also, when it comes to online, sky is the limit!

However, whether digital or paperback, it’s not easy to get a book published. But, nowadays, many people are opting for self-publishing. Ultimately, your goal should be to get an audience.

Me: Who is your favorite character from your book and describe them?

Archana: THE DAD! He’s the overbearing dad! And, he’s also literally larger than life. The book’s funny side is basically because of him.

He has clear cut rights or wrongs. He’s the kind of man who would say “my way” or “the highway.” 

Me: Do you have some regrets about the storyline? Would you like to change something?

Archana: I think it’s too soon to have any regrets, and no! 

Me: How do you deal with a writer’s block?

Archana: It’s not easy! Especially, if you’re writing humor! You know how they say, being funny is a serious business.

The best way to deal with a writer’s block is by letting it go. You’ll come back to it, don’t worry. 

Me: Tell us about your plans with writing.

Archana: Apart from the series, there’s another idea plotting in my head right now. I’ll share it with you when something manifests out of it. 

Me: Do food and writing go together? What food inspires your writing?

Archana: I’m not a foodie. Though yeah, food can inspire a lot of writing. Though, I’m not inclined towards food. The thing with food is, you eat and you get on with it. 


Me: How do you dress up when you sit down to write?

Archana: I usually sit at home. I hate writing on a desk. It’s too much of a discipline, and I don’t think I can follow it. 

Archana is also a songwriter, and you know what’s awesome? Her lyrics were taken up by a band and written into a song. Listen to it, here.

You can read Archana Saboo’s Adikool in #AfricanAdventures on the Juggernaut App.




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