the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

Suraya’s Gift: The Story Catcher Children by Malavika Nataraj


“As more stories are added in, the spiderweb gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it forms an invisible blanket that covers every city and town, every village and every forest. And when someone who is walking by touches the web accidentally,the stories will flow into their head and from their head to their fingers and from their fingers on to paper. Those stories will get made into books and people will queue up for hours to buy them in shops… Where do you think books come from?”- excerpt from Suraya’s Gift- The Story Catcher Children

Malavika’s little protagonist is “nine and a half “ year old Suraya. Suraya loves writing stories. The web she weaves with words, becomes even more fantastic when she starts jotting down her good and bad stories in an ancient magical journal. Through different experiences- some delightful and some confusing, Suraya learns a valuable lesson.

In today’s digital world, many are complaining about the lost interest in writing. Children’s creativity is limited to the games they play and the movies they watch. This delightful book brings back the magic of story writing. It enunciates the importance of creative expression through written words. Suraya, the protagonist could be any child, anywhere in the world. Malavika’s attempt to encourage story writing is very imaginative and enchanting.

With a hope that more tales are woven into the magnificent web of  The Story Catcher by children all over the world.

TGBC interviewed Malavika Nataraj……..


TGBC:  Why write for children?
MN: I didn’t set out to write specifically for children. It was a happy coincidence I would say. I do believe, however, that children see the world with unconditioned eyes and if left to fly, their imagination is really without limit. I think, because of that, the stories that a child can tell are so special.
I was a child with a huge imagination, much like Suraya, and I was always writing little stories down!

TGBC: What was the genre of your earlier work- even if it was not published?
MN: This is my first book. I am a freelance writer, basically, and have written Human Interest features on a range of topics, as well as music-book-art reviews and a lot of marketing content.

TGBC: What inspired this book?
MN: I think much of my inspiration for the book has come from my own childhood. One day, I started writing a story that I could read to my daughters and that just evolved into Suraya’s Gift.

TGBC: What next?
MN: This book is the first of a whole series I am planning, called The Story Catcher Children, and the series is about kids who love to write.
I want to get kids interested in creative writing again. Not on devices, not on a keypad but just simply with a pencil, a sheet of paper and their imagination. Hopefully, the next book in the series and any books that follow will keep inspiring kids to write their own little stories. I have also started to conduct fun writing workshops for kids, which I hope will help them along their own journey to becoming writers.


About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2016 by in Book Reviews, Indian, Kids and tagged , , , .
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