About Pragya Tomar: Pragya is a self-published author who just debuted her first picture book recently entitled Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party. I was lucky enough to be part of this story’s evolution, and I’ve ADORED it from the start. It’s an exciting adventure with mishaps, chase scenes, hidden pathways, ghosts (friendly of course), sibling love, history, light shows, and Indian culture!
To enter the giveaway for a SIGNED copy of Baby and Bina at the Ghost Party, please comment on this post, and for an extra chance to win, retweet this tweet: https://twitter.com/KaitlynLeann17/status/1099324017746628608?s=19
Hi Pragya, what inspired you to write this story now?
I love telling stories to my daughter and books are a great resource to foster imagination, knowledge and creativity. My daughter asked me often to tell stories from my childhood in India. That made me realize that we don’t have many books from India. I believe, I could fill that niche and write cultural books that have a global appeal. Such books give an opportunity to open a dialogue about other cultures, family values and traditions.
What do you hope people gain from reading your story?
Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party, my first picture book is a journey to the beautiful exotic culture in India. The two main characters are Babu Trunk and Bina Trunk, cute elephant siblings, based on me, my brother and our childhood adventures. (I love elephants!)
When Trunk family visited an old fort, Babu Trunk and Bina Trunk got themselves trapped in an isolated cavern. They stumble upon the ancient ghost of a great Maharaja, the king! But instead of being afraid of the ghost, Babu and Bina make a bargain – and that’s where the fun begins. This colorful, imaginative picture book, will take you back in time! A story that highlights Indian History with a magical adventure.
Any follow up for Babu and Bina in the works?
My second picture book in the series – Princess for a day is going to release on March 1st 2019.
If you want a free download of the e-book on 2-24-19, click here: https://amzn.to/2TZRe5X
Bina Trunk thinks that being a princess makes her special and better than others, but quickly realizes that she misses out on having fun with her friends!
Princess Bina learns an important life lesson, that everyone is special, and no one is more important than anyone else.
Rhyme and repetition engage young readers while demonstrating the importance of following one’s own heart.
How did you choose elephants as the characters of the family?
Ooh! I love elephants! When I use to visit my grandmother’s home in India during summers, every day at noon an elephant’s trunk would enter through the kitchen window and my grandma would give him bread.
I love the adventure they go on where the meet the ghosts of a past king, queen and their friends, where did you come up with such a fun idea?
The story is based on my childhood experience of visiting the magnificent fort of Gwalior in India. The highlight of the fort was the famous light and sound show where they used animated shadow to show the history of kings and queens through centuries. The main halls had large portraits of kings and queens and their thrones. It was an unforgettable experience for me.
You self-published this book and others, why did you choose to self-publish?
I am from the TV/film industry. I was unbiased and unaware of the traditional publishing industry. The idea of making the whole book myself with my talented illustrator seemed right to me. I took help of experienced editors and honest critique from fellow authors before publishing the book! I enjoyed the whole process very much.
Can you elaborate on some good and bad experiences of self-publishing?
I think self-publishing needs lot of work and out of pocket expenses which includes hiring professional editors, illustrators and then marketing. I personally enjoyed doing all of them! Traditional publishing is good for writers who are only interested in writing and they don’t have to worry about publishing.
What is the next story you’re currently working on?
I am working on my third book on Babu and Bina series –Jungle Adventures.
Papa and Mama Trunk plan a family camping trip to the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Babu and Bina’s fear of the jungle fades away as they discover the wonders of living with the Shompen Tribe.
The book gently focuses on children spending time away from phone and technology and enjoy nature. The end of the book would also include information and pictures about the Shompen Tribe and their habitat. The illustrations for this book are developing beautifully.
I plan to write variety of books from picture books to novels with diverse characters and backgrounds to learn and enjoy new stories from all around the world! Currently, I am writing a spiritual memoir about meeting a spiritual master and my experience growing up in India.
You have such a supportive family; can you tell us how your family has influenced/affected your writing?
My five-year-old daughter is a patient listener and inspires me to write my stories. My husband supports me and believes in me as he knows I work hard and am sincere in my job and family.
Where is the most interesting place you have written or gotten inspiration to write?
In my living room with my daughter!
Finally, if you got the chance to spend an afternoon with your favorite author, would you rather: go outside and fly a kite or sit by the fire and have tea?
Ghosh! there are so many authors I would like to meet. I have read hundreds of good books by Paulo Coelho, J. R. Tolkien, Ursula.K. Guin, Roald Dahl, J.K Rowling, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Neil Gaiman. It’s hard for me to pick one, so sit by the fire and having tea sounds delightful.
Wow, this was so fun! I especially love all your insight into publishing and that the living room with your daughter is your favorite place to write! 🙂
To check out Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party, you can check out
Website (signed copies here)
To connect with Pragya:
Thank you all for reading and as always, we wonder, where’s the math? EVERYWHERE!
Hopefully many, many books sold, the amount of time and effort put in to this labor of love, the number of friendly ghost Babu and Bina meet and the number of forts and palaces that share their history using these cool light shows.