Lots of kids grow up with elaborate escape fantasies of what their future might look like. What was yours? Did you think you'd be an editor and novelist?
I did like to write a lot as a kid, but I think my dreams were always a bit more about the pursuit of creative fulfillment. What I did know for sure is that I wanted to be creatively engaged with life instead of merely participatory in it. That is what I instilled in Kiran -- an unerring dedication to his creativity and his imagination -- and I really do think that those things are the saving graces in children's lives. They are what make children so resilient even when they are dealing with very tough things, and I've always felt a responsibility to depict just how fortifying they can be.
What would you say to your 13-year-old self if you could go back and visit him today?
Besides telling him to do away with his vast collection of mock turtlenecks? This: Regardless of who you are in life, you will always have people who support you and people who try to bring you down. Focus only on the people who support you. The others really aren't worth your time or energy. It's so true.