HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12My Writing and Reading Life: Soman Chainani

My Writing and Reading Life: Soman Chainani

 | April 18, 2014

Soman Chainani credit David J Martin

Soman Chainani
Photo credit: David J Martin

Soman Chainani’s debut novel, The School for Good and Evil, debuted on The New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into languages across six continents, and will soon be a major motion film from Universal Pictures.

As a writer and film director, Soman’s films have played at over 150 film festivals around the world, winning more than 30 jury and audience prizes, and his writing awards include honors from Big Bear Lake, New Draft, the CAPE Foundation, the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, and the coveted Shasha Grant, awarded by a jury of international film executives.

When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing The School for Good and Evil. Now he loses all the time.

The second book in the trilogy, A World Without Princes, is published by HarperCollins (April 2014).

The School for Good and Evil: A World Without PrincesLatest published book …


You wrote it because …

In the first book of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL series, I tried to upend the words ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ and strip them of the connotations we normally have — no matter what our age is. In the second book in the series, I try to do the same to the words ‘Girl’ and ‘Boy.’ By the end of the book, kids especially will find those terms much more fluid than before.

Best moment …

The whole second half of the book is twist upon twist, all carefully planned since the beginning of Book 1. Writing those twists and having them feel organic, as if discovering them while writing was worth all the pain and agony of writing the dreaded middle book in a series.

Your special place to write …

On my chaise lounge chair, by a window overlooking Riverside Park

Necessary writing/creativity tool …

Compulsive exercise right before, which tires me out and lets me access my unconscious brain much more easily

Favorite bookshop …

McNally Jackson in Soho, NY and Copperfields in Petaluma, CA

Currently reading …

The Once and Future King by TH White

All-time favorite children’s book you didn’t write…

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

An author you idolize …

Patricia Highsmith

Favorite illustrator …

Iacopo Bruno

A literary character to vacation with …

Auntie Mame

More Soman Chainani …

You can visit Soman online at www.somanchainani.net and follow him on Twitter @somanchainani.

Add these books to your collection: The School for Good and Evil and A World Without Princes

Visit more pages and articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Soman Chainani. And be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • I really love these posts Bianca. A nice chance to get to know the authors of some great books.

    June 5, 2014
  • nice thank you for sharing this awesome post..good luck bro

    December 8, 2014

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