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About The Author Kalpana Vaze
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Kalpana Vaze has been an educator for over 2 decades. She has been inspiring young minds to grow and be inquisitive about the world around them. Her passion for working with children has contributed in supporting the village school libraries in the remote part of central India, and sponsoring the education of underprivileged children.
Before coming to Canada, she taught in India for a while. When her children were young, she had joined their school as a teacher. As a mother of two, it was a difficult task to find bedtime stories to read to them as she lived in the remote areas of India because of her husband's job.
Her husband`s job entailed being transferred from one base to another every couple of years, as it was part of the military life. At one point, the school her children were studying was 40 kilometers away, and the only safe mode of transportation was a military truck. The region was known for militant insurgencies at that time. There would be power outages on a daily basis and candlelight and the light emitted by glow worms was too weak for reading anything (lol). As a result, cooking up a new story every day and making it interesting for her children became a habit.
Having traveled and lived in unique places was an enriching experience for her. Adapting to new cultures, gave her real-life opportunities to observe people and know their stories.
With her book, she wants to give back to society as there is a great need for books on this particular subject.
Kalpana's Journey To Becoming
An Author and A Storytelling Coach!!
What Inspired You to Write This Book?
There are two things that inspired me to write this book. As a teacher, reading books to kids is a normal practice for me. I taught Health to primary students. And I looked for books on allergies in the school library. To my surprise, I could not find any books on the particular topic. When I searched for books to order, and saw the content of some of the books, it occurred to me that I could also try writing a book that kids can relate to. The other reason is, I have witnessed firsthand how scary food allergies can be, especially for young ones. I wanted to get the message across in a playful way.
What will your readers gain from your book?
First of all, my readers are going to get a beautifully illustrated coloring book. They will love the Allergens because they speak like human beings and express emotions which children can relate to. My readers will learn that it is okay to seek help when you are in doubt. They will also learn that many others do have the same feelings and emotions of rejection and sadness, but when things are explained in a scientific manner, it is easy to understand the why`s of a situation. Through my book they will learn about the symptoms of food allergies, what precautions can be taken to avoid an incident, and also the importance of carrying an EpiPen if you are allergic to certain foods.
What was your unique quotient for this project?
As soon as I narrowed down the subject of my book, I started doing a bit of my own research as to what kind of books were there on food allergies. I checked out some authentic websites, food and nutrition guidelines, etc. Creating my characters like Mush and Yogs was easy, as I had decided to write it from Allergen`s point of view. I didn`t come across any book that was written from this perspective. I thought it would be interesting if I asked my allergens to tell their story and give them a voice. I was very sure in my mind how I wanted my characters to look, sound, and also emote. What was most unique about the whole process was that despite the fact that personal meetings with the illustrator, publishers, etc. were not possible; the ideas were conveyed smoothly and unfolded beautifully in the end.
How did becoming an author helped in your business?
I wrote the book partly because I felt that there was a need for books about this particular subject. I never thought of the commercial aspects of the book business. However, as the book was published, I received encouraging feedback from people about the possibilities that are out there. I am now looking into extending this work to mini books, storytelling, videos, blogging, etc. This book has given me recognition as an author. My creativity is appreciated by others and I feel more connected with my audience. It has given me confidence that my new ventures will benefit many people and be successful.
What are your future plans as an author?
In the future, I plan to continue writing for children, mostly about health-related topics. I already have an idea for my next book. I also plan to conduct informative health-related workshops for children and parents. Story telling is what I love to do. The adverse time that we are living in, has given me the perfect opportunity to engage in a dialogue with parents and children about self-care. Dealing with children all along has made me understand that there is a dire need to address children`s emotional wellbeing. I would like to help them recognize their emotional state and learn how to cope with it.