Writer Interview of Shivangi from ‘Stories by Shivangi’ #interview #nonfiction #author #childrensbooks


Hi, welcome to another interview for my biweekly interview series. I have been behind due to other projects so I’m having a special edition of my interview series featuring the lovely and talented Shivangi Singh from Minnesota in the United States, on a Sunday. Her blog’s link is here: Stories by Shivangi – Once Upon A Time . . .


Shivangi - Self
Credit: Shivangi Singh

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

I am Shivangi Singh from ‘Stories by Shivangi’ from Minnesota in the Unites States. I am a stay at home mom and I love to weave stories inspired by my surroundings. If you enjoy stories, films, and kids stuff, visit my blog, you will most definitely enjoy it.

As a child, I aways dreamt of writing books but with the development of technology, I have learned how easy it is to self-publish, now more than ever. I have managed to write, do some illustrating, and be the author of two children’s books that are available on Apple Itunes. They include the books below.


The Princess with Brown Teeth 

By Shivangi Singh

Shivangi - The Princess With Brown Teeth
Credit: Shivangi Singh – ‘The Princess with Brown Teeth’

Find it at on Itunes here: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-princess-with-brown-teeth/id1146112226?mt=11)


Who Ate The Moon

By Shivangi Singh

Shivangi - Who Ate The Moon
Credit: Shivangi Singh ‘Who Ate The Moon’

Find it on Itunes here: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/who-ate-the-moon/id1206671343?mt=11).

 


 2. Please Tell Us About Your Recent Book? When Did You Begin Blogging and Writing?

My recent book Who Ate The Moon is about two naughty brothers Aala and Uja, who adore the moon. They steal the moon and through stealing it learn about the different phases of the moon. The book is educational as well as entertaining. Through my children’s books, I’m trying to make learning fun for kids.

I began blogging in January 2015 soon after my first little one was born. I have been a copywriter, journalist, and have won several awards in creative writing. The purpose of ‘Stories by Shivangi’ was to maintain my flair for writing. I was also feeling a little disconnected after moving to the USA from India, so I chose to start my blog to establish a connection with fellow bloggers, writers, and friends. Ultimately, my blog showed me the way to my dream of being a published author.


3. How is Writing and Blogging Meaningful for You? Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write? Why Is Writing Important to You?

My blog and writing my books provide me with a much-needed creative outlet. It is my voice! I use this voice to entertain, advocate, and teach little ones such as my own. 

My inspirations are my surroundings, my kids, and the latest news or current events. As a child, I loved story books and I want my kids to love reading as much as I do. Mothers are the first teachers’ of their children so it’s my endeavor to instill the love of reading and writing in them. If I write blogs and books, they too will understand the joy of knowledge. This is one of my primary motivations to continue my blog as well as having that creative outlet for myself to write what I would like.


 “As a child, I loved story books and I want my kids to love reading as much as I do. Mothers are the first teachers’ of their children so it’s my endeavor to instill the love of reading and writing in them. If I write blogs and books, they too will understand the joy of knowledge.” – Shivangi Singh


4. Do You Have Any Particular Blog or Writing Habits? 

I write on the go and on my smartphone. A sentence here and a word there. With two demanding little ones around, it is harrowing to write sometimes and that is why I try not to commit to too much writing at this time. As my kids grow up and depend on me less, I will devote more time to writing books and to blogging.


5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects On Your Blog or Otherwise? 

As of now, I have not planned anything. I will just keep writing one blog a week! My projects have been my two kids books which you can access above. As I said, I try to not commit to too much with my little ones and their demands at the moment.

My book did get reviewed by Ritu of But I Smile Anyway, and I wrote a guest post for the site. I was interviewed by Ranjeeta of atrangizindagieksafar as well but have no future plans as of right now beyond blogging.


 ” [I]t is harrowing to write sometimes and that is why I try not to commit to too much writing at this time. As my kids grow up and depend on me less, I will devote more time to writing books and to blogging.” -Shivangi Singh


6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process You Went Through Writing Your Books? 

It was quite challenging! I wrote the children’s books and created illustrations using inspiration by reading other books here and there. I had no professional help whatsoever while publishing and am proud to say I figured it out on my own. I kept reading DIY  blog posts and forums and through them, I managed to publish my children’s stories.

Time was a challenge and so were the illustrations, but I did have an illustrator paint my cartoons in the first book (The Princess with Brown Teeth). But in my second book, I illustrated with the help of Pixton.com. My challenged of obtaining a visa was also a challenge so I couldn’t publish my books on Kindle. I was thrilled when my books were published on Apple, but then, I know many people with Android readers don’t have access to my books.

I did, however, put together a video on YouTube and did a voiceover of my books for readers who could not obtain my books through Apple. It did not come out as I had expected and I struggled on each step. I learned an enormous amount of information about putting together a video of my books in the process. 


7. What Keeps You Going As a Writer? Do You Prefer Any Writing or Reading Genres? 

Persistence and a love for writing are key, a person just has to keep writing no matter what. As well, I am absolutely crazy about fiction! I like to read poetry too!


“I wrote the children’s books and created illustrations using inspiration by reading other books here and there. I had no professional help whatsoever while publishing and am proud to say I figured it out on my own. I kept reading DIY  blog posts and forums and through them, I managed to publish my children’s stories.” – Shivangi Singh


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Bloggers? Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing? 

All my blog friends are doing great! I would advise them to be persistent and be better than their last post! As for having anything else to say, well,  I think I have said it all😀


9. For Fun, What Are You Three Favorite Blogs You Follow, of Any Kind? 

When I first entered the blog world, these were my favourite people. I continue to enjoy reading them.

  • Priceless Joy  — Her stories are awesome and her Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer Challenge is great for those who love writing and working on telling a story in only 150 to 175 words.
  • Ritu of But I Smile anyway — She blogs about day to day activities but the way she presents these activities, the way she writes, is awesome. Also, Ritu is such a positive and inspiring person!
  • Ali of Draliman On Life — (Because Sometimes Life Just Makes You Stop and Think) —  If you love a good laugh, visit Ali’s blog. I am a big fan of his humorous works.
  • I would also like to mention Millie Thom from Bringing History To Life — she is a writer par excellence.

10. Can You Please Share With Us Some of Your Favorite Blog Posts?

Anecdote – Lesson By My Grandma!

By Shivangi Singh

May 9, 2016

******

*****

My grandma is a grand old lady nearing a century. If you look at her, she may appear formidable in the beginning and then a ringing laughter would ensue, dismantling the image you had conjured up in your mind. The fact is, she is both formidable as well as light hearted. A unique, delightful combination!

Born and brought up in a royal family ( Kharsawan, Jharkhand), she has always had that regal bearing. She believes in maintaining distance from her kids, grandkids, great-grandkids as well as recently added a great-great-grand kid. And we are all supposed to behave in her presence. We rise when she enters the room and remain respectful in her presence.

During my childhood years, we lived with her, so, we had the opportunity to observe her from the closest quarters. I discovered her lighter side later in life. Initially, I was apprehensive of her. She commanded and the household ran according to her. But as I grew up, I discovered the lighter, fun side of her personality. There have been many instances when she would have us in splits.

Here is one such incident. One of our cousins was going to meet a prospective bridegroom. In arranged marriages in India, girls and guys are introduced by their families, they meet up, chat and then a decision is taken unanimously.

So, this cousin was both excited as well as scared before her first meeting. Our granny called her and said, “If you like this man, try to do little something to make him fall for you.”

We were seeing another aspect of our grandma. We all asked, “what?”. She immediately showed us how to woo a husband – “Look sideways at him and then look down… blush… look up again at him… look down and blush again. And then smile juuust a little.” We doubled up with laughter!

I don’t know whether my cousin looked sideways at the prospective groom or not but they ended up getting married!

*****

(Sharing a picture of my grandparents)

*****

I look up to my grand old lady because she always had the audacity to laugh at all challenges that came in her life. In her almost 100 years of life, she has seen many ups and downs. All her peers are long gone now, times have changed but she has remained strong.

I adore her because she is quite broad-minded, childlike and her booming laughter lightens the most serious of situations. A great devotee of Krishna, she follows what the playful God says – to celebrate life as it is!

Long live my grandma!

*****


Here Are Additional Posts Written By Shivangi:


Thanks so much to Shivangi for filling out my interview questions! I even gave Shivangi the wrong interview questions (the one’s for blogs that are causes) and she still did a brilliant job. She is an inspiration as a writer and a mother and I wish her good luck in the future with her family and writing. Here is the link to here homepage one last time: Stories By Shivangi


Thanks for reading this interview and if you are interested in being interviewed as a writer/blogger or you a blogger writing for a specific cause (or both), you can reach out to me on my Contact Page. See you on Monday for my regularly scheduled interview 🙂


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Writing and Blogging: An Experience through Other Writers and Bloggers.


Laptop Writing
http://www.creativenauts.me
The more time I spend blogging. The more time I put into it. I think I have been writing a blog for three or four years now. At first, I wrote randomly and not often. I did not know much about WordPress and how it worked but I have learned many things about blogging and writing along the way.

At first, I was focused mostly on my writing and improving how I wrote. I think it has become a continuous goal for me to improve my writing but I have discovered so many fascinating and informative blogs from others along the way on how to improve my writing. One extremely helpful blog is Ryan Lanz who often has guest bloggers on any number of topics about improving your writing skills. Also, Amirhosein Ghazi has a number of posts on improving your writing.

These blogs and many more have been immensely helpful in crafting my writing. I know there is mistakes in everything I publish. No matter how hard I try to proofread and edit, mistakes always slips through. And if it wasn’t me, it was auto-correct on my Iphone or Ipad. Auto-correct drives me crazy at times! But do know, on my actual blog, I always correct my writing. So, if something is not making sense on the blog sent to your email you can always go to my actual blog homepage and the mistake should be corrected. I adore writing but my weakness is editing. I learned this through three editing courses through Simon Frazier University. I was going to do a certificate in Editing but an editor who only catches sixty or  seventy percent of editing mistakes isn’t good enough to edit professionally.

Courses that have also been of great aid to me have been Creative Writing

Writing Notebook
http://www.awritersprocess.wordpress.com
courses from the University of Alberta and Simon Frazier University online. Blogging courses through WordPress have also been immensely useful. I have meant many other bloggers through these courses and connected. I have also learned much about my writing and how to better be an honest storyteller. I have picked up tips such as ‘showing’and not only ‘telling’ in a piece of writing (thanks to Priceless Joy). I have learnt how to be more descriptive but also learnt one can go overboard with descriptive words. One interesting aspect I have learned is when your characters are having a conversation the word ‘said’  is alright to use over and over again. You can insert a few other words when the situation allows such as ‘shouted’ or ‘murmured’ but in general when your writing creatively in a story, you don’t want to throw your reader off by doing what we were all taught in high school and even in university to do. Do not write ‘said’ a different way every time it needs to be used.

Another great piece of advice given to me by Andy (whose blog I couldn’t find for you) was to make something happen in the story, an inciting incident and/or a problem. He used the example of Lord of The Rings: Frodo has an evil ring and stays home and drinks tea, isn’t an exciting story; but Frodo has an evil ring and goes out on an adventure to destroy the ring, is a great tale.

I have also learned to leave out certain words. It is a difficult objective to achieve with some of these words. These words include words such as ‘very,’ ‘quite,’ ‘just,’ ‘obviously,’ ‘rather,’ and the hardest word ‘that.’ In a writing course in university I was also told never to start a sentence with ‘this,’ but I haven’t managed to not use ‘that’ and not use ‘this’ at the same time. Maybe you will have better luck. If you are not sure if any of these words don’t work try writing a sentence you were going to use them in without these words because your sentence will sound clearer. Certain times I believe you have to use one of these words. Such as maybe something was actually obvious in your story. Or you have to use ‘just’ or another word because it is how your characters talk, In real life most of us talk using these words but talking can be different then writing.

Anyways, I have done many WordPress courses. I have done writing, blogging, and photography multiple times. I have done 101 and 201 courses.Not only meeting and interacting with other bloggers is important but reading varied takes on a prompt. Other people have ideas you would never think about writing about. Each person has their own experiences and imagination to draw from. Other bloggers and these courses fuel me with thoughts for future blog posts. They give me ideas or I become aware of different writing challenges being held such as Flash Fiction writing prompts through pictures, daily word prompts, and events going on in the larger writing community such as National Writing Month for poetry or writing a book. Additionally, the blogging  courses taught me how to improve the look of my blog to be more professional and to expand it to other types of social media. I’m not sure my blog is completely professional looking yet but it gets better through time. And I hope more professional, the more I write and learn how to use WordPress blogging tools.

Writing Desk
http://www.pinterest.com
Something I have truly tried to focus on is adding new bloggers to receive posts from and reading other bloggers work. It is impossible to read every blog I get but I do try to read most of them. The list keeps on growing but there is only so much time I can do this in. Blogging is becoming a career. I spend time writing my blogs, time appreciating other bloggers who comment on my work, and commenting on other blogs I enjoy. It is excellent to be able to have your work critiqued and to critique other people’s work. It adds to your own writing of blogs a great deal. Also, it is interesting to note in challenges such as Flash Fiction, what each writer will perceive out of one picture used as a prompt.

My greatest discovery lately comes from a lady who tells you how to plan

Writing Thank You
http://www.telegraph.co.uk
out a novel in a serious of blogs. I’m excited to try her method and make my novel come back to life. I’m unsure whether to re-plan or start a new novel because I have been stuck on this manuscript for almost a year. But I like my characters a great deal. You can check out what I am talking about here by Georgina Cromarty. I have linked you to part 1 of her Simple Guide to Writing a Novel. I believe she is on Part 6.

So in closing, thank you to everyone who has ever read, commented, glanced, critiqued, agreed, or disagreed with my blog. A blog is supported by a community of readers and writers and I’m thankful for you all.

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.