Have you ever met a 12-year-old who is not a fan of Facebook but loves the unabridged version of Shakespeare? Well, that’s Yamini Prashanth for you. And we haven’t even got to the good stuff yet. Her second book is out in May, titled Best of Granny’s Stories and, as of a couple of months ago, she became one of the youngest TEDx speakers in India. We catch up with the soon-to-be-teen who collects Harry Potter spells for fun:
That’s an impressive resume for a 12-year-old. Most grown ups probably couldn’t juggle all that.
Everybody asks me how I balance my time, but honestly it doesn’t seem like a lot. I’ve made a deal with myself to write two or three pages every day over the summer.Apart from that, I go for Carnatic singing classes, Odissi dance classes and basketball. That’s it.
And you study too, right?
I study a lot. They call me the class nerd.
How do you do it? You’re giving me a complex.
I don’t know. (Laughs.) I’ve taken most of these classes from the tune I was six. And even during the holidays, life is full. We have this family goal to travel to as many countries as the number on your age. I’m 12 and so far, I’ve been to like (counts on her fingers) 20 countries, I think.
What’s keeping you busy this summer?
I’m about 50 pages into writing my fourth book. It’s about a young girl (who is 12) and her family who are relocating from India to the UK, and the challenges she faces along the way. Parts of it are based on my own experiences while living in London for a year. But that was a really long time ago, when I was six.
That wasn’t too long long ago. Are you excited to turn a teenager soon?
Are you kidding? I’ve heard that teenagers get all surly and weird. I don’t want to become like that. Plus, I don’t think 13 is a number anyone looks forward to.
● Prashanth wrote a sequel to Enid Blyton’ St Clare’s series before she was seven. She didn’t think anyone would like it so she put it in the recycle bin of her computer
● Her second book, Best of Granny’s Stories is actually full of her own stories, but her grandmother did give it her stamp of approval, she tells us
● Her first book, Mishti, which released when she was 10, was rejected by 50 publishers before it saw the light of day