“Whenever I have a story, I write it.” So says Nikita Singh, best-selling author in the romance genre. And one can well believe her: at 25, she has just launched her 10th novel.
Singh, who started writing at 19 and is in India for the launch of Every Time It Rains (Harper Collins, Rs 199, pp 258) said in an interview that writing, for her, “is just a process… I really don’t over-think before or while writing. It just happens”.
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Singh, who now lives in New York after a born-and-raised childhood that involved a string of small towns, debuted with Love@Facebook in 2011, but was noticed with the 2012 romance If It’s Not Forever… It’s Not Love. After that, there was no looking back. “Six books in the first two years,” she beamed.
So, what’s the secret of her prolific output?
“No secret, just hard work,” Singh laughs. “I don’t have any five-year plan. I don’t count the number of books I have written nor write while considering that. I take a book at a time, start writing, finish it and then… write another one,” Singh said.
Her life revolves around her two professions — Metropolitan magazine where she works, and her writing. Is it difficult to balance between the two lives?
“Not at all,” she claimed. “I have always been doing something else while writing. I used to write when I was a student and now the same continues as I am working. My aim was never to only write and do nothing,” the author said.
Singh’s books sell, on average, over 20,000 copies and that makes them bestsellers in India. She draws a lot of inspiration from art, music, movies and her surroundings — and likes observing people a lot, watch their expressions and behaviour.
Every time she writes a book, she tries to flesh out her characters first and then head towards story construction.
“My characters are not real, they are all imaginary. I know them and can see them, but they don’t hold any resemblance to people I know. The characters automatically and organically slip into their roles,” the author noted.
Unlike her initial days when she used to get swayed by what people said, she is now a more mature person. With every book, she has evolved as a more confident person, begun to trust her own preparations, put in hard work and bring out the best from her ideas.
“The only new thing that I have understood is my own perspective. If I don’t trust my own instincts, what else do I have? This is the biggest change that has happened to me from the first book to now. If I am happy with my book, I know readers are also going to like it,” Singh noted.
So, from spending most of her childhood in small towns to becoming a national bestselling author, how did she make a mark?
“Prove your worth with work,” she replied. “I feel that even if I was born and raised in a bigger town, being 19 and being a woman, my voice would have been unheard. Nobody will notice you unless you prove your importance. You just have to do your work, focus on the manuscript and don’t think about what people are saying,” she added.
As a young author, she just has one piece of advice for people who aspire to be an author some day, and that is — finish your manuscript.
“Many people tell me that they started working on a manuscript but couldn’t complete it. Just finish it. There can be no excuse,” Singh said.