Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, author, and public speaker. She is the author of Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More and Just Feel: How To Be Stronger, Happier, Healthier and More, illustrated how-to books for children (and the adults in their lives). In 2021, she will launch two new books for children: Just Be You: Ask Questions, Set Intentions, Be Your Special Self, and More (the 3rd of the Just Be Series) and a picture book for younger kids called My Body Is A Rainbow: The Color of My Feelings.
In Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy, Mallika shares insights she gained while seeking meaning and balance as a mom and entrepreneur who felt she was overwhelmed by work, family and too many responsibilities.
Mallika has taught meditation to thousands of people, and is currently a mindfulness consultant for the animated series, Stillwater, on Apple TV+. She enjoys speaking to audiences around the world about intention, balance and living a life of purpose.
In this post, Chopra shares what inspired the third book in her Just Be Series with Running Press Kids, who had the original idea for the series, her top tip for other writers, and more!
Name: Mallika Chopra
Literary agent: Linda Loewenthal
Title: Just Be You: Ask Questions, Set Intentions, Be Your Special Self and More
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Release date: March 2, 2021
Genre: Middle Grade/Self-Help
Previous titles: Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More; Just Feel: How To Be Stronger, Healthier, Happier and More; and Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy
Elevator pitch for the book: Just Be You is the third book ins the Just Be Series for kids, 8-12 years old, that give children simple tools to understand and support social and emotional knowing, resilience, meditation, mindfulness, and self-reflection.
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What prompted you to write this book?
I believe Just Be You offers kids (and the adults in their lives) space to explore, dream, wonder, imagine and think about the values they want to live by. It was inspired by the lessons I learned growing up as the daughter of well-known author, Deepak Chopra, as well as being a mother to two amazingly different children.
How long did it take to go from idea to publication?
The idea of Just Be You—and the entire Just Be Series (Just Breathe, Just Feel, and Just Be You)—has been part of my identity since I was a child. I learned how to meditate when I was nine years old.
Meditation, mindfulness, and self-reflection gave me the security to manage the external pressures and uncertainties of life, and the resilience and empowerment to celebrate my uniqueness. As a parent, I saw the need and opportunity to share these lessons with children who are managing anxiety and often overwhelming social pressures.
Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?
I was fortunate that the publisher of Running Press Kids, Kristin Kiser, had the original idea for a series of books for kids on meditation, mindfulness, and social and emotional resilience. She remembered my first book (from over a decade ago) on conscious parenting, 100 Promises To My Baby, and reached out to my agent, Linda Loewenthal, to see if I was interested in this project.
The Just Be Series has been a collaboration of creating this special resource for kids and the adults who love and support them. Brenna Vaughan, the illustrator of all three books, brought them to life with warmth and emphasis on diversity.
Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?
For me, the process of writing is a journey of twists and turns with constant surprises, changes and edits. I begin with a general outline, but then as I wrote the next page fell into place in a natural way. I think the nature of the how-to format made this the natural process.
What do you hope readers will get out of your book?
The pandemic has created a unique historic moment for all of us to ask questions, set intentions and think of how we can be of service. Hopefully, this book will support kids and adults on how to move forward with tools for resilience, inquiry, and joy.
If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?
Just keep writing what you need to write, with trust and faith. Try to let go of attachment to the outcome. I have always balanced my writing career with other projects.
Sometimes, we never know how the journey will play out, but if you are authentic in your voice, you will feel empowered by your contribution.
Research, interview, and explore the subjects that interest you. Then write about what you've learned in Writing Nonfiction 101: Fundamentals. Writing nonfiction is a great way for beginner and experienced writers to break into the publishing industry.