Mahtab is a Persian name and it means moonlight. She never really appreciated its beauty till recently and now that she does, all her books have some description of moonlight in each of them. So, that’s her, sharing her little secret! Mahtab was born in Mumbai, India, but at the time she grew up it was called Bombay. As a child, though not overly shy, she wasn’t too enterprising or ambitious. She was so afraid of failing that she’d hesitate to try out new things. She will always be thankful to her mother, who pushed her to try out new things. She even learned Bharat Natyam (a classical Indian dance) for a while! Mahtab was always an avid reader and once again it was her mother who encouraged her. Summers were filled with books and sunshine, and remain cherished childhood memories. Mahtab immigrated to Canada in 1997. The settling-in process involved quite a steep learning curve and much anxiety. You can read about it in an anthology released by Penguin Canada earlier this year called Piece by Piece; Stories about Fitting Into Canada. The catalyst that started Mahtab down the path of writing was a tragic one. Her father passed away due to cancer in September of 2003. Shocked and devastated, she turned to books for solace. She had always been fond of fantasy and adventure stories and she buried herself in these during this difficult time. She started jotting down her thoughts and memories of life back home so that she would never forget. These scribbling along with her love for fantasy morphed into the idea of writing a novel. The Third Eye took four years and twenty rewrites before making it to publication. In her presentation, Mahtab will describe this heart-wrenching journey, how close she came to giving up and what kept her going. The Third Eye went on to win the Silver Birch Fiction Award 2009 and an entertainment company has recently renewed their options on this property towards making it into a full length feature film. Its sequel, The Silver Anklet, was released in November 2009 and has received great reviews including a four star review in the CM Magazine and is Highly Recommended in Canadian Resource Links. The last book in the Tara Trilogy, The Deadly Conch is slated for release by Dundurn Press in February 2011. Mahtab lives in Toronto with her husband, Rahul , son, Aftab and her golden, Coby. She continues to write, inspired by life, love and the desire to make sense of the world through stories.