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Meet Shoumi Sen of From The Toddler Diaries in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shoumi Sen.

Shoumi, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a Strategy and Marketing professional for a multinational company by day and a children’s book writer by night. I am the creator of ‘From The Toddler Diaries’, a series of books on Indian culture.

My daughter is the inspiration behind my books… my writing originated as one of my many ways to have her appreciate a constant connection with her Indian roots while growing up in California. While living in Mumbai and Dubai, my sister and I had found ourselves constantly surrounded by the magic of Indian festivals as little kids and I can still remember the excitement during Durga Puja, Holi, Diwali and Christmas!

I searched for books that would help me paint these magical cultural experiences for my daughter and eventually decided to write one. ‘From The Toddler Diaries’ began as a series of poems that was the life of several bedtime story sessions and play dates with friends. Inspired by this interest among kids and encouraged by their parents, I decided to publish the collection.

Has it been a smooth road?
The world of publishing can be really hard to break into. For someone from the tech industry, it was even harder. I knew two things 1) These books needed to get out into the market as soon as possible because I knew there was a gap that needed to be filled and 2) Self-publishing was increasingly becoming a viable option So I set out to learn as much as I could about creating a book on my own.

I quickly realized that writing is the easy part! Editing, illustrating and actually producing a book takes a ton of research and persistence and that translated into many, many weekends and late nights for a full time working mom like me. But it doesn’t stop there. Once a book is created, it can be likened to having a baby – you want to take care of it and make sure it is ready to make its way into the world. That’s where the real hard work begins – marketing your book and your brand and making sure your voice is heard.

I learned a lot and still continue to learn every day and am thankful to have made a lot of friends along the way – there is a huge community of writers, bloggers, booksellers, and supporters of diverse books that are working hard to bring a variety of books into our children’s hands.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
What sets ‘From The Toddler Diaries’ apart from other books in the market is the fact that the story is told by a little girl. My protagonist is little Riya, and my books aim to paint my cultural experiences and childhood memories in words that a child can easily understand. It is important to me that my writing should capture the appreciation of a child’s clarity in perception, which is quite magical in its simplicity. I am also lucky to have a fantastic illustrator who is able to bring my books to life.

Being a huge supporter of diverse books, I believe that all kids should see themselves in books they read. I’ve had several parents tell me that their child is able to identify with little Riya and is more confident in speaking about their Indian heritage with their friends and classmates – moments like these make me really proud of what I have created. I love to hear from my readers (and their parents :)) so please feel free to drop me a line!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Orange County is a great place to be and there is a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in our communities and schools and I hope that trend continues. My book sales mainly take place online but I love the storytelling sessions, school visits and book fair opportunities that our cities provide.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Kumon – Foothill Ranch

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