Writer and journalist Roopa Pai has lived, worked, and traveled in three continents, writing for some of India’s best known publications on various topics, including business, lifestyle, travel and food, and profiling well-known public figures from the fields of business, sport, theatre and film.
Her published works include non-fiction for adults – a biography, Chanakya –The Master Statesman, and a city guide, Ticket Bengaluru – and a series of career guides for students, but her first and greatest love remains writing for children. Aptly, she started her journalistic career with the legendary children’s magazine, Target.
Roopa got her undergraduate degree in computer engineering, which is probably why science and problem-solving, in some form or fashion, are recurring motifs in her children’s writing. She has won a Children’s Book Trust Award for Science Writing, and her books for younger children include the best-selling 4-part science series, Sister Sister, which has been translated into eleven Indian languages. She has also written two girl-power books for UNICEF’s Children for Change series.
Roopa is a history buff, and a diehard fan of her hometown Bangalore, and she combines these two loves in her capacity as one of the top tour guides at BangaloreWALKS (http://www.facebook.com/l/e0200DavxRb2BjXoJK2OCyaqdFQ;www.bangalorewalks...), a much-feted heritage walks and tours company. As part of her job, she conceptualizes, designs and leads tours for both residents and visitors, helms stage-shows that showcase the rich cultural traditions of South India, and takes students from elementary through high school on history and nature ‘Exploriences’ designed to help them understand and appreciate their city in fresh, fun and engaging ways.
Currently, Roopa is working on Taranauts – her most ambitious writing project ever. Taranauts is India’s first original fantasy-adventure series for children, and is set in an entirely different universe called Mithya. The first four books of the 8-part series are now in stores, and the fifth is due to hit the stands around June. She also writes a weekly column ‘Once Upon A City’ on the history of Bangalore for Deccan Herald (Student Edition), and regularly contributes features, interviews and short stories for the children’s magazines Hoot and Toot.
The first book of the Taranauts series: The Quest for the Shyn Emeralds, was one of the five children’s books to make the shortlist for the inaugural Vodafone-Crossword Book Award for Children’s Writing last year.When she is not dreaming up plots for her stories, she goes on long bicycle rides, and takes children on history and nature walks in Bangalore.