Cheryl loves the thrill of adventures, which is why she writes strange and adventure stories for children of all ages. She loves spending time with kids and dogs and includes animals in her stories quite often. Her story features in When Mommy Was a Little Girl, a collection of fifteen stories of Mommies when they were ‘little girls’ published by Ponytale Books (January 2022).
Preeti Chaturvedi in conversation with Cheryl Rao, one of the fifteen contributors to “When Mommy Was a Little Girl” (Ponytale Books, 2022), an anthology celebrating Mommies when they were ‘little girls!’
What inspired you to write this story?
As a child, I was rough on my possessions, even though I had so few, and this incident highlights what I did with my doll – something that could not be undone and something I had to live with because there was no way I could get another doll to replace it! So, through the years, I convinced myself that my doll had ‘character’ and she resembled me and she was precious just the way she was!
In hindsight, those were probably useful and comforting conclusions!
How much did it take you to write your story?
I was not particularly naughty or adventurous when I was young, but a few incidents, like this one, were often harked back to by my parents and siblings, so it was easy to pick out from our usual childhood mischief and easy to write because that’s the way my elder sister was (calm and composed and always grown-up in her ways), and that’s the way I behaved at the time – hasty and impatient and quick to jump in without testing the waters.
Hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson with all three shortcomings!
How was your experience being a part of this anthology?
It’s both exalting and humbling to be a part of an anthology such as this that showcases the stories of well-known children’s writers from different parts of the country and from diverse backgrounds – and I think the anthology is stronger and more enjoyable because of the diversity.
Did you imagine your mommy as a ‘little girl’ and does your child think of you as a ‘little girl’?
Both my mother and my father were dramatic storytellers and most of their stories came from their childhood, so yes, when I was young I could easily imagine them as children and I secretly wished I could go back in time and join them in the adventures that came with belonging to very large families in very small towns!
My child was lucky to spend considerable time with my parents during his growing years and he heard about their childhood and mine, so he could certainly picture me as a child. He too spent some of his formative years in way-out places and thus it was easy to ‘connect’ to two generations of childhood tales – and to embrace with delight the knowledge that a part of our childhood always stays with us.
You can buy the book from Amazon