12-year-old Chandigarh origin author Saanvi’s leap into realm of fantasy fiction - Hindustan Times
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12-year-old Chandigarh origin author Saanvi’s leap into realm of fantasy fiction

By, Chandigarh
Apr 30, 2024 07:26 PM IST

The New York-based author, who traces her origins back to Chandigarh through her maternal grandparents Vanita and BC Gupta, recently released her debut book, “Isabel Johns and the Lion of Power”

An after-school filmmaking course was just what 12-year-old Saanvi Singal needed to unleash the fantastical world doing rounds in her head and put it into words.

Saanvi with her family in New York. (HT Photo)
Saanvi with her family in New York. (HT Photo)

The New York-based author, who traces her origins back to Chandigarh through her maternal grandparents Vanita and BC Gupta, recently released her debut book, “Isabel Johns and the Lion of Power”, a fantasy fiction novella and she couldn’t be more excited.

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“Writing was just a hobby, but the filmmaking class helped me put my ideas into words,” she says, adding that she based the titular character, an explorer on a mission to save the earth, on her own self.

The other main characters are also modelled on Saanvi’s friends in New York. “The idea struck me when we were looking through costumes for the filmmaking class. There were only three costumes left, that of an explorer, a gardener and a doctor and those became my main characters.”

Saanvi with her grandparents
Saanvi with her grandparents

The interest for writing runs in the family, as both Saanvi’s mother Shonali and grandmother also took keen interest in the field. “Sanvi was the first to put the ideas into words quickly. She showed us the first chapter and after some encouragement, ran with it.”

Saanvi, who loves reading JK Rowling, attended school briefly in Chandigarh, a city that has given her fond memories of hanging out with her grandparents in the lush outdoors, almost reminiscent of the setting of her debut book.

The young author, whose book was published by a non-profit organisation in the US after she honed her skills under their Society of Young Inklings programme, is enthused by the response she has received.

“We had a book celebration and all my friends and family had nice words to say about the book. Even my younger sister is reading it,” she says, beaming with a smile at the idea of turning Isabel Johns into a full-fledged series.

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