PictureBookBuzz: Tell us about yourself.
Meera: I love to read, write, review, and recommend, or sometimes simply hug picture books! I get to do some of it as a parent and writer, and the rest as an early literacy instructor and a multicultural books advocate. I live in Berkeley, California, with my husband, raising two little (right, not so little anymore) global citizens.
PictureBookBuzz: What inspired your book, "The Yellow Suitcase?"
Meera: "The Yellow Suitcase" is the story of a little girl who travels to India to grieve the loss of her grandmother she deeply loves. When my children lost their first grandparent in India (where I was born and raised), our family came face to face with the hardships of calling more than one place home, primarily in terms of distance and cultural disparities. That said, grief is a universal human experience, but we hesitate to talk about it with kids. "The Yellow Suitcase" is an attempt to nudge that conversation. I also believe we should be talking more about war and poverty and discrimination in children's literature, on realities we ALL read, see, hear, or experience every day.
PictureBookBuzz: What other books have you written?
Meera: I'm previously published in India. I've co-authored four picture books. Most of them are creative non-fiction exploring endangered wildlife and vocational communities often under-represented in children's books in the subcontinent. You can find out more here: https://www.meerasriram.com/books/
PictureBookBuzz: What do you think readers will find most appealing about your book?
Meera: The illustrations - they are gorgeous and detailed! I also believe "The Yellow Suitcase" will encourage adults to have meaningful conversations with children around death. Many children do not seem themselves in stories and I hope this book will address that.
PictureBookBuzz: If you could give advice to writers who haven’t published yet, or an earlier version of yourself, what would you want to share?
Meera: Focus on craft to write well. And don't let rejections bring you down. Believe in the importance of your work, always.
PictureBookBuzz: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Thank you for talking to me, Picture Book Buzz! I enjoyed sharing my story.
You can pre-order THE YELLOW SUITCASE using the links below :
We are a group of picture book authors and illustrators whose first picture books will be released in 2019. Read about our roads to publication here.