Born and raised in India, I grew up in a joint family in the historical city of Ahmedabad.
As a child, I wasn't a big reader but I remember my brother and I listening to many stories. My very first memory is of our grandma telling us a story every night. She didn't know how to read or write, but she spoke of several experiences, beliefs, myths, legends, fables and folktales.
While in school, I learnt and graduated in Indian classical dance and music. I also learnt to paint and draw. Many stories were told through all these art forms.
Following high school, I went to School Of Architecture where I met my husband and we moved to the United States after getting married. I worked as an Urban Design Consultant for Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council in South Florida before deciding to stay home for our three children.
While raising the kids, I made it a practice to tell them stories every night. Some were my experiences as a child, and some were fables, myths, and legends passed from grandparents and great grandparents. Surprisingly, they had stayed with me through all these years. I realized the power of storytelling and it is one of the reasons I started to write for a larger audience.
Also, raising readers was important to me and as every immigrant, I searched for books that would help my children understand where we came from. But those kind of books were hard to find and so they started to travel with us from India; once every year, in large quantities, packed in suitcases along with pickles and spices. With every trip, our collection of heroes and legends, kings and demons, gods and goddesses, and myths and fables from India grew larger and larger.
Years went by and there still weren't many books rooted in Indian themes and there was hardly any trace of that rich ancient culture in the body of Children’s literature in America. With my background and a growing passion for storytelling, I felt my work would be a valuable addition to reflect that part of the world.
With that in mind, I decided to learn a new medium for telling my stories; through picture books. I read hundreds of picture books and while every book taught me something, I am still learning the craft. Making Picture Book Magic, The Craft & Business of Writing Children's Picture Books, ReFoReMo, 12X12, PiBoIdMo, SCBWI, and my local critique groups have helped me tremendously in this learning process.
Apart from reading, writing, and spending time with the family, I enjoy painting, singing, cooking, and eating! I love to dress up in traditional Indian clothing, and never miss a chance to drape myself in a Sari.