Interview of author Arefa Tehsin

RM: Your book seems to be well researched. What all are the sources, from where you pick up the information?
AT: The main sources for this book are my father’s inputs and The Book of Indian Animals by S. H. Prater. Some research has been done online too. 

RM: What are the prominent forests that you have visited? Any special forest which you want to visit and study the wild life of that area?
AT: I think each forest is prominent in its own right. And I’ve liked every forest that I’ve visited till date. Be it the forests of Dandeli in Southern India or the Black Forest in Germany or the semi-arid forests of Sumer in Rajasthan. 
I do not study wildlife. I enjoy wildlife and the jungles. 

RM: How much time it took you to finish the book- Do tigers drink blood and 13 other mysteries?
AT: It took me around two months. 

RM: Any more such books in pipeline? Would you like to share some future projects?
AT: There are two more to be released this year, hopefully. One is called The Steed of the Jungle God to be published by NBT (National Book Trust). It is a non-fiction book for adults. It is on 70+ years of experiences in the jungles of the Aravalis, the phenomena which he has come across that can be attributed to ghosts and spirits, and his quest for rational explanations behind the same.
The other is also non-fiction book but for children: The Wild in Our Backyards. It is to be published by Penguin (Puffin). When we think about wild animals, we think of the jungles. But there are a plethora of them living in our own backyards and homes.
I am also writing the fourth part of the Iora fantasy series for young adults based in a rainforest. The first book Iora & the Quest of Five was released in 2012. Since then I’ve written the second and third novels of the series (Iora & the Realm of Legends and Iora & the Eyes of the Past) but they haven’t been published as yet. The series would be released once I complete writing all the six books.

RM: What is the toughest thing when one writes books for the kids?
AT: I do not find it tough to write for kids. Or for adults for that matter. Writing is just a matter of delight; be it writing stories or penning down factual information in a fun way. 

RM: Who is your inspiration? What do you do to relax?
AT: I’m often asked about my inspiration. Who has time for inspirations? I just sit down and write. My father is the one who introduced me to writing. And Aditya, my partner, pestered me to take the writing more seriously.
My idea of relaxing is watching a movie or reading a book; living the lives of others through stories. But nothing relaxes me like travel. And nothing settles me like travel.