Where do you live?
I’ve lived in Austin Texas for almost 10 years and currently I live in Vancouver, British Colombia. I love living in both parts of the world.
When did you know you wanted to write picture books?
I volunteered at the Round Rock Public Library, where I hosted a bilingual Hindi-English Storytime. I found very few books, with South Asian characters. Seeing that gap i wanted to fill that void with my work and wanted to bring stories with universal themes yet holding elements of my South Asian culture.
Tell us about your road to publication, what did that involve for you?
I had no idea of publishing, and I was convinced to self-publish. But then I joined the Writing Barn class in 2019 and after my first class, the world of publishing just opened. I joined the writing communities like SCBWI and 12×12. Took classes, attended events, and continued to write.
I found my agent in 2020 and sold my book in 2021.
Can you share a bit about your process?
I start off by answering a few questions –
Character and settings- What they want and why- The conflict- The solution.
Ones I have clarity I start off with my first draft, get it critiqued and improvise (this is on repeat). I also do storyboard as it gives me a better picture of structure, page turns and flow.
What do you do to shake the rust off or get new ideas?
To get the rust off I go for walks, visit the library, bookstores, and the museums. I feel we are always surrounded by ideas; we just have to catch them. I’ve been more observant to the nature and my surroundings.
Anything you can’t live without while you write?
My notebook and my special magic pencil.
Any authors and/or illustrators who inspire you?
I have so many authors and illustrators that I inspire, but if I had to pick one it would be Author Mitali Perkins and illustrator Kadir Nelson.
Dream project to work on?
Write a book series and develop a show.
Tell us about your debut book.
Diwali In My New Home, illustrated by Aishwarya Tandon, is a story about Priya, who loves to celebrate Diwali, (an Indian holiday) with family and friends. But this year Priya and her parents are living in North America, and no one seems to know about the holiday. Priya misses the traditions in India. But as she strings lights outside and creates rangoli art, Priya introduces the festival of lights to her neighbors. And even though the celebration is different this year, it’s still Diwali.
Interior art from DIWALI IN MY NEW HOME by Shachi Kaushik, illustrated by Aishwarya Tandon
What’s up next for you?
More books to write, more shows to work on. I just finished working on the YouTube original animated series ‘The Guava Juice Show’.
And last, but not least, favorite 80s movie?
Growing up in India, we had very limited access to Hollywood movies. The ones that were available became my favorite.
Hollywood: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Bollywood: Mr. India
Huge thank you to Shachi for stopping by Critter Lit!
Shachi Kaushik is a bilingual Hindi-English children’s media enthusiast who is passionate about sharing stories. Part of the Children’s Media Industry, she creates content for children that is entertaining, enlightening, and educational. Raised in India, Shachi currently lives in Vancouver with her husband. Shachi loves taking walks on the beach and eating gelato.
FOR MORE INFORMATION about Shachi or her book, visit her online or follow her on social media:
ORDER THIS BOOK To order a copy of DIWALI IN MY NEW HOME, click here.