It's a curious world out there in Anchan Bay, the seaside village where Varma's
children's novel The Magic Store of Nu-Cham-Vu is set. Varma reveals why young
readers are veering towards dark fantasy.
Janaki Viswanathan in
SUNDAY MID-DAY, Mumbai
SEPTEMBER 6, 2009
How did the idea for Nu-Cham-Vu come about?
I was in Scotland for a couple of months when I was told to write a 'weird' story for
children because these days apparently, the darker fiction gets, the better kids like
it. I wrote it as a story at first and sent it to Penguin. They put it before the team and
then approached me to make a whole novel of it. So that's how The Magic Store…
Why do children like 'dark' fiction so much?
Because our society's become a lot more liberal. And with any liberal society, be it
the USA or UK, the next step is to go to the extreme. Children aren't forbidden much
these days and whatever they are forbidden, they access it online. Anyway, when I write a novel, I don't think of
these aspects. It's just a glimmer or spark that comes to me and needs to be put down.
You're related to the last Maharani of Travancore. Do you have any childhood memories of the palace?
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