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An Interview with Jessica Sinha, author of The Panda That Wanted To Touch The Sky

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I was born in India and moved to the US in the late 90s. I was an avid writer from a young age, penning exciting magical stories exploring relationships, and weaving in notes of strength, generosity, and perseverance through simplistic stories. I am a debutant children’s book author with an upcoming fiction novella in production and multiple children’s books in different languages. Being raised multiculturally, I enjoy sharing my experiences and intermingling my learnings through these stories. I have a BS in Chemistry and an MS in Bioengineering. While currently employed in the life sciences industry, my passions are writing and social work.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I started writing around six years of age. My grandfather had this beautiful typewriter he used to type letters to all his relatives. I was eager to use his typewriter and with that, began my love for stories. As I typed I found myself transported into any world I wanted to go into, meeting anyone I wanted to meet, creating characters that I enjoyed. While I had been writing for many years and keeping my stories close to me, I didn’t think about publishing until my son was born. I realized, in reading to him, how powerful the stories were in inspiring him. My husband and sister both gave me the ultimate push to publish this first book. Without all of them behind me, this endeavor may have taken me much longer to pursue.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

When my son (now five) was born, my husband and I started reading with my son right away. It was a bonding activity that opened up his mind, expanded his curiosity, and kindled his imagination. I always knew I wanted to write books, but I had never taken the step until I saw the true power of simple stories for a child.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The story and the title, both, were quick to build. Once I had the story in my mind, I was able to pen it down, polish it, and share it with my family for their feedback. I find that writing a story can be a quick task or take years, because the inspirational moments that build the story can come in spurts or take a while to develop in your mind.

My next story is not a children’s picture book but a young-adult novel. Some chapters just flowed and there are chapters for which I need more research, more inspiration, to develop.

Describe your dream book cover.

My dream book cover would depend on the story. I gravitate towards soft watercolor-style imagery, warm colors, illustrations over photographs, and simple words. I imagine that my next book’s cover will be rich with deep colors about the setting in which my book takes place.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I worked as a scientist for about six years and then shifted to science communications and marketing. Currently, I’m a marketing professional.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

We, as a family, collectively read nearly 20-25 children’s books (fiction and non-fiction) almost every week and have been for the past few years. The very early ones that come to mind are I Love You Through and Through and Room on the Broom.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

Children are naturally curious and persistent if given the freedom to be. I hope that children reading my books, this one and others, continue to be themselves. I hope they embrace every bit of themselves, as they are. Besides being encouraged to persist, to think and dream of the impossible, this particular book also shows how sometimes needing or asking help is perfectly acceptable. More than anything else, I simply hope that when children read it, they find joy in their hearts.

atmosphere press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.