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Secret of good story spilled

The love for stories inspired him to write and his teachers’ love for India encouraged him to set his stories in India.

Australian author Ken Spillman was at South City International School recently to talk about his new book, I Am Oscar, Life is Freaky.

“So how many of you daydream?” was Spillman’s first question to the young audience. “I do. We all do. And when we do, we let our imagination go awry. The one important feature in all my books is the power of imagination and that is one thing that is absolutely crucial in the way you perceive a text or a movie.”

Spillman introduced Oscar as “funny and imaginative”. “My idea was to give him many problems.”

Spillman confessed it was the love for stories that inspired him to be an author. “I used to love listening to my mother’s stories as a boy. Later, when I wrote, I realised the characters in my books were doing things I couldn’t do, like flying and that was fun. I haven’t stopped writing since then.”

Spillman, who has read many Indian authors, said that when he had first come to India eight years back, there was a sense of familiarity. “When I met people and visited places, I felt at home immediately…. I had teachers in primary school who were Anglo-Indians. Every time they spoke of India, they spoke with so much love. That made me come here.”

Dev Sharma, a Class IX student, hasn’t read any of Spillman’s books yet but was eager to read one after the session. “I found Oscar interesting, mainly because he doesn’t belong to a normal family,” smiled the boy who shares his name with one of Spillman’s characters (Daydreamer Dev).

Spillman’s parting words to the boys and girls: “A book is just paper and ink. The key to a story lies in imagination. And one can only sharpen it by reading lots of books.”