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It has been a few weeks since I was hired by Cheeni as his biographer. I have been learning a lot about flying machines and story writing. You see, the first book of the series will describe Cheeni’s adventures while trying to fly.
As we were having breakfast together, (he was nibbling on a chocolate biscuit while I was sipping at my masala tea) Cheeni suddenly asked “What are the formats that are available for presenting my biography?”
“We have several options. Here are some that I have been contemplating: chapter book, graphic novel, game book, and digital story.”
“I know what a graphic novel is. It is the type of books that read like comic books, just like the previous biography you wrote about Jagadish Chandra Bose. Right?”
“Yes. That would be correct. Jagadish and the Talking Plant that was published by Tulika Books is a graphic novel. ”
“But what is a game book?”
“A game book is a book that has several options for the reader to follow. The ending of the book is determined by the option that the reader chooses. They are also called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books.
“Well which format should we be using?” asked Cheeni.
“I guess some of that will depend on which publishing house decides to publish your book. “
“Should we self-publish the books?”
“Well I have published only one book before. While writing ’Jagadish and the Talking Plant’ I must say the efforts of the editor Niveditha Subramaniam and the illustrator Anushree Bhat changed the book substantially. The book is a much better book than the original manuscript due to their efforts. They really transformed my words into a graphic novel.“
“So you think we should go with a traditional publisher for this book?” asked Cheeni
“Absolutely. We are going to be writing lots of books together. So we must have the format right. And I need to learn to be a better writer. I think going with a traditional publishing house will definitely propel the books to be better books.”
“What about the DIY activities that are mentioned in the book? Do you still want to make videos about them?”
“Yes. Don’t you think if we make videos available on the internet will make the books better?”
“Well yes. Readers will definitely find it easier to make the flying machine models. But…”
“Well. We mouse are camera shy. We absolutely hate being in front of a camera.”
“Hmm. So you don’t want mice to be acting in the videos.”
“What if we use rats to act in the videos?”
“Of course not! How could we use a rat! They are our arch enemies! They eat up all our food...”
“OK! OK! I get it. You will not allow a rat to act in the videos”
“Hmm. That might be difficult in that case.” I sipped my masala chai and thought about it.
“What if we get children to make the models of flight?”
“Well that is a good idea! Human children definitely like acting in videos. That is why there are so many videos with children in them and so few videos with mice acting in them.”
“Hmm… Maybe that will work out properly.”
And that is a summary of what we have been thinking about the book. I guess the format of the book will be finalised once Cheeni finds a publisher.
And yes the sketch at the beginning of this piece is my attempt at drawing Cheeni. He at last allowed me to try to sketch him. After all, he has to get used to being sketched if he does not allow us to use photographs of him in in the book. Yes. It will be a book full of lots of pictures. That much we know already.