Nikita Singh is the bestselling author of ten novels, including 'Every Time It Rains' and 'Like a Love Song'. She is also a contributing writer to The Backbenchers series and the editor of two collections of short stories, '25 Strokes of Kindness' and 'The Turning Point'. Born in Patna and raised in Indore, Nikita worked in the book publishing industry in New Delhi for a few years before moving to New York for her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at The New School. Nikita lives in Manhattan, where she does digital content and marketing for a solar energy company.
At the outset, congratulations for being shortlisted for the First International Young Author Awards for traditionally published Authors and welcome for a quick chat for our writer’s portal.
Nikita Singh: I started writing when I was nineteen. In the first 2 years as a writer, I wrote and published 6 books! Ever since then, I’ve consciously slowed down to an average pace of a book per year. Now when I realize I’ve written 11 books in 7 years, it sounds made up!
Nikita Singh: Letters to My Ex is my eleventh book.
Nikita Singh: I’ve started working on my next book, which is actually a sequel to my last book, Every Time It Rains. We don’t have a name yet, but it picks up where left Every Time It Rains off.
It’s actually the third book of the series. Like a Love Song was a story about Maahi and her friend Laila. Every Time it Rains was about Laila’s romantic relationship. In the next one, we see more of Maahi’s life.
Nikita Singh: Back in 2010, I went to an internet café to do my research on publishing guidelines set by publishers. I discovered that most publishing houses require a synopsis, a few sample chapters and a short bio about the author. My bio was very short because I had done nothing in life yet; I was in college studying Pharmacy!
Once I had my proposal packet, I went back to the internet café and sent it over to publishers. Fortunately, I started hearing back from them very quickly.
Nikita Singh: My writing process is a running joke in my friend-circle! Basically, I plan my book subconsciously in my mind (aka procrastinate) for 8-9 months. And then I sit down to write when I’m about to miss my deadline. I then have no choice but to write really fast! I finish my first draft in 14 days.
Then send it to my agent, who sends his notes. I read my manuscript for the first time, make edits based on whatever I feel intuitive and my agent’s notes. I send this second draft to my editor, and then we go back and forth on primary edits, copy-edits, proof-reading and typesetting for a couple of months, and there — we have a book!
Nikita Singh: I’m very bad at answering that question because it’s so hard to choose one! I read mostly fiction, but recently, I’ve been reading mostly non-fiction. How about I tell you some of my favourite authors instead? They are a mix of fiction, non-fiction, Indian, International, genres - Jhumpa Lahiri, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, James Baldwin, Vladimir Nabokov, Cecelia Ahern, Thomas Bernhard, J.K.Rowling, Rebecca Solnit, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters… oh, so many to name!
I just received a copy of 'Love a Little Stronger' that Preeti Shenoy sent me, and immediately started reading it!
Nikita Singh: I think it’s great! Every once in a while, people like to pause and think about the direction their life is going in… and this can be a major milestone in anyone’s life. I feel honoured to be nominated. I definitely cherish how it makes me feel.
Nikita Singh: Tea! I take it black, no cream or sugar. Literally the best thing ever.
Nikita Singh: Honestly, I wish I heard more questions about writing than publishing. It seems as though everyone is focused on reaping the benefits of their imaginary hard work. 70,000 words on paper don’t just happen by accident. You have to write every single one of them, so that’s my advice — write.
Nikita Singh: It makes me so happy, to be recognized for representing my generation and their thoughts. I’m very grateful!
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