Chat Archives
Chat on "Ranthambore Adventure" dated January 20, 2013
  • Deepak Dalal: Hi Susan - I'm online
  • Susan Sharma: Todays' chat topic is "Ranthambore Adventure" and the moderator is Deepak Dalal
  • Susan Sharma: Hi Deepak
  • Susan Sharma: Can we start by you giving an introdn?
  • Deepak Dalal: Hi - I'm Deepak Dalal. I write children's books - all with a wildlife angle. My book Ranthambore Adventure is about tigers and is the story of their survival in spite of the odds
  • Susan Sharma: You call it a children's book, but three adults in my house found the book very interesting esply since we have all been to Ranthambore
  • Deepak Dalal: Yes, although it is a children's story, adults (grown-ups) enjoy the book too.
  • Susan Sharma: I think it is because you mange to bring in a lot of serious issues in a subtle fashion.
  • Deepak Dalal: Yes - that's what storytelling is all about. We entertain but educate too - in a very gentle, unobtrusive manner.
  • Susan Sharma: What was the turning point which made you decide that you will use the method of story telling to make people aware of env.issues?
  • Susan Sharma: Hi Anantha
  • Deepak Dalal: I enjoy weaving stories. That's my passion. I also feel strongly about wildlife. I enjoyed putting the two together.
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: This is Sucharita, using anantha's acct
  • Susan Sharma: Hi Sucharita
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: hi susan
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: hi deepak
  • Deepak Dalal: Hi Sucharita
  • Susan Sharma: Was it difficult to leave a career to start following your heart?
  • Deepak Dalal: Not really. I was glad to do so. No regrets. It's been a great journey since.
  • Susan Sharma: Will you advise it as a career option for a youngster who is keen to become a story teller?
  • Deepak Dalal: There has to be total commitment. That's because it's a hard journey. But if the effort is consistent its worth the ride.
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: What skills should a youngster develop before he/she plunges into a career in writing?
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: Deepak I must admit I haven't read your books. Do you thing a focus on a particular area is important for a beginner?
  • Deepak Dalal: One way to learn writing is to read a lot. Read the best books. Read them slowly and discover how stories are told. Then try working first as a journalist or any forum (including the net) where people get to see your output. You take off then from there.
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: I guess one has to be an observer of life to be able to speak to an audience
  • Deepak Dalal: Yes, focus is important. The focus should be on what you are an expert on. That's important as you must write with authority.
  • Deepak Dalal: It's not just about being an observer. One must be a keen observer.
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: Do you test the waters before the book gets published-- by that I mean do you share it with a young audience to get some feedback?
  • Deepak Dalal: I do share my work with several of my readers before printing. Inputs from them are very important and I take everything they say very seriously.
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: Could you describe the process involved in storytelling. Do you have a storyboard of sorts that you then flesh out or is it something that is sponaneous?
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: Back to the question of feedback are they very critical?
  • Deepak Dalal: I usually begin with research. I invest a lot of energy on this. It is the research that actually guides me into the storyline. Then I just drill down into the story and the story fleshes itself.
  • Deepak Dalal: Feedback is important. The most critical part of it is whether the books is a great read or not. If it isn't then there is a problem. A huge one.
  • Susan Sharma: Would you say people judge you by the first book you write and that hence it is the most important?
  • Deepak Dalal: Well - yes, there is a great importance to the first book. But an ordinary first book is not the end of the world. It just makes future life as a writer that much more difficult.
  • Susan Sharma: These days book launches are held like opening Fridays of a film. What is your opinion about the role of marketing?
  • Deepak Dalal: Marketing is big. Very big. Good marketing moves even the most ordinary of books. And great books often fail because of poor marketing. This is an unfortunate and sad truth.
  • S.Ananthanarayanan: How do you handle the language of the book--- I mean there a huge audience out there of all ages and anyone of them could be reading it. So should a book have something for everybody?
  • Susan Sharma: Digital publishing and online publishing is slowly taking off and may change the scene in favour of authors.
  • Deepak Dalal: The best writers right the most simple of English. There is never any need to resort to high-sounding vocab that most people haven't heard of. Look at Sommerset Maughm or Dick Francis and many other writers. Their style is simple and readable by all.
  • Deepak Dalal: Yes, digital publishing is changing the playing field. One doesn't know where all this is headed but clearly the writer will be stronger. Yet, like before, marketing will still remain all-important.
  • Deepak Dalal: I talk a lot at schools. I am invited all over the country. What I have discovered is that children know little about wildlife. This is a shame. I'm doing my best, along with several other like-minded people to set this lack of knowledge right.
  • Susan Sharma: I am a little surprised that none of the young readers have joined the chat. Do you think we should target a school for our chat with you next time?
  • Deepak Dalal: Actually a school would be great. Try the Pathways schools. I had visited there last time in Delhi. You could also try DPS Vasant Kunj. They use my books as readers.
  • Susan Sharma: Are all the remaining titles now ready for marketing?
  • Deepak Dalal: The remaining 4 titles are in print. They should be available in the market by April this year - when schools are done with their exams.
  • Susan Sharma: I will try and organize the chat with schools and let you know.
  • Susan Sharma: April should be a good month for that?
  • Deepak Dalal: Sure. It will be a pleasure.
  • Deepak Dalal: Actually this is a good time. Schools are free till mid Feb. After this exam fever sets in. Jan is the best month.
  • Susan Sharma: I will certainly make the effort. We can have a chat session specially for school children. It will have to be a week day, I guess. and may be 4pm or so?
  • Deepak Dalal: I think it would be even better if it is during school hours. You can get the school to do this as part of a period. Schools would be happy to include chatting with a writer as part of the class. It will work out good.
  • Deepak Dalal: Are we ready to sign off?
  • Susan Sharma: That sounds like a good idea. Y
  • Susan Sharma: Yes, Deepak. Thank you very much and Sucharita thanks to you too
  • Deepak Dalal: goodbye and thanks.
  • Susan Sharma: As soon as we close the chat room, the transcript will be up and you can read it at the chat archives.
Chat Archive
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Online Courses on the study of birds - July, 2015
Rewilding degraded Land- practical experiences - June, 2015
Why are vultures important for Swachh Bharat? - May, 2015
Green Living - March, 2015
Restoring degraded lands for wildlife - January, 2015
Insect Tourism - November, 2014
Use of GIS and Remote Sensing for Biodiversity Conservation - October, 2014
Why celebrate wildlife week? - September, 2014
Wildlife Film making - July, 2014
Wildlife Film making - June, 2014
Sharing of Experiences by our wilderness volunteers - May, 2014
Online Environmental Courses - March, 2014
Decreasing tolerance of backyard wildife - February, 2014
Frogs of India - January, 2014
Sustainable Development: The Right Approach - December, 2013
Tiger Cyclowalk- an Interview with Sunil Joshi - December, 2013
Tiger Cyclowalk - Highlands to Ocean - November, 2013
Volunteering at Melghat Tiger Reserve - October, 2013
Role of Citizens in Scientific Research - September, 2013
Ranthambore Adventure - January, 2013
Bats-The Night Warriors - October, 2012
Man vs Tiger-Can Science help? - July, 2012
Human Elephant Conflict - June, 2012
Saving the one horned rhino - May, 2012
"Man-Leopard Conflict - how we can deal with it" - April, 2012
Environment and Wildlife Film making - March, 2012
"Rainforest Wildlife-Unique adaptations" - February, 2012
Conserving wildlife in fragmented landscapes - January, 2012
Urban Biodiversity - September, 2011
Green Hiking in the Himalayas - August, 2011
Role of Zoos in Conservation - July, 2011
Reduce, Recycle and Reuse - June, 2011
Black Necked Cranes - symbol of the rising Green Consciousness - May, 2011
Wildlife Issues in the North -East of India - April, 2011
Trekking in the Himalaya - March, 2011
Conservation of Marine Diversity in India - February, 2011
Plant native trees this monsoon - January, 2011
Human Elephant Conflict - December, 2010
Conservation and Development in Emerging India - November, 2010
Responsible Tourism- Way forward to conservation? - September, 2010
Vulture Conservation in India - August, 2010
Plant a tree (trees) this monsoon - June, 2010
Role of Urban Birds - April, 2008
"Role of Urban Birds" - April, 2008
GM Foods and Bio-diversity - March, 2008
Taking Responsibility for One's Carbon Emissions - February, 2008
Ecological Security - January, 2008
The Himalayan Musk Deer - November, 2007
Urban Wildlife - October, 2007
Disappearing Tigers: Taking Stock - August, 2007
Garbage littered on our Streets - July, 2007
Bear Conservation nad Protection - June, 2007
Role of Captive Elephants in wildlife conservation - May, 2007
Endangered Animals of Sikkim - April, 2007
Citizen Participation in Environmental Issues - March, 2007
Vulture crisis in India - January, 2007
City Parks and Biodiversity - December, 2006
Why is bird census important? - November, 2006
Shooting Wildlife with a Camera - October, 2006
Rain Harvesting - September, 2006
Environmental Education - July, 2006
Tribal Bill - June, 2006
Trekking in the Himalaya Region - May, 2006
Trekking in the Himalayas - May, 2006
Coastal Wildlife - April, 2006
MARINE BIOLOGY - March, 2006
Atmospheric Brown Cloud - February, 2006
Tiger Census - January, 2006
Tiger Task Force Report - December, 2005
Marine Ecosystems Chat dated 18 November 2005 - November, 2005
Coral Reefs - October, 2005
Global Warming - September, 2005
Tourism and Wildlife - August, 2005
Environment Education - July, 2005
Wild Elephants - May, 2005
Tiger Census - April, 2005
Enforcement of Wildlife Act and the Common Man - January, 2005
Crane Migration - November, 2004
Migratory birds of India - October, 2004
Offences Against Wildlife - September, 2004
Man Animal Conflict - August, 2004
Recent Amendments to the Wildlife Act - July, 2004
Is there a case for keeping large mammals in zoos? - June, 2004
Captive elephant management - May, 2004
Conservation of seaturtles - April, 2004
Asiatic Lion - March, 2004
Plight of lesser animals - February, 2004
Mangroves of India - January, 2004
DEER AND ANTELOPE - November, 2003
PHEASANTS - October, 2003
Amphibians - September, 2003
Chat on Butterflies - Our Natural Gardeners - April, 2003
Chat on Asian Elephant - January, 2003
Chat on Migratory Birds - December, 2002
Chat on Snakes - November, 2002
Chat on Rare Birds - August, 2002
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