The Harry Potter series were my first set of books, which I read at 17,” says 23-year-old author Nikita Singh, who released her eighth book, After All This Time, last month. That’s a startling confession from someone who wrote her first book at 19, and then seven more in a span of four years. “I started reading late, but I had been making up stories in my head since I was a child.”
It was her second book though, If It’s Not Forever, It’s Not Love (2012), that got her noticed. She co-wrote it with author Durjoy Datta (who was already an upcoming romance author then, with six books under his belt. Today, he is a regular on the bestselling lists).
“Durjoy wrote to me on Facebook, and asked me if I wanted to be a part of the new publishing house he was launching, called Grapevine. We just clicked, and the books worked out well,” Singh says.
Suddenly everyone knew who Nikita Singh was. But she made sure she wasn’t forgotten as quickly as she became famous. Singh wrote one book after another in a span of four years, including another one with Datta called Someone Like You (2013).
“I am super impatient as a writer. I think, think, think about it for a while, and then just shut myself up for two weeks and write it out.” It’s a habit that has worked wonders for her career and people who read her: the young Indian reader who wants to read light, fun, romantic fare.
The cynical romantic
The writer, for her part, has made sure she caters to her 20-to-30-year-old audiences by focusing on feelings we can all relate to – love and the big “who I am” question. For example, In Love@Facebook , a young girl falls in a love with a celebrity and woos him on Facebook; in Right Here, Right Now, her heroine loses her memory and tries to piece together a new life, very different from her previous one.
In her latest book, her heroine has a tough situation to deal with – she is HIV positive. “I wanted to make this one about dealing with a tough life – one about real people with lives that are not perfect,” she says. She may peddle love, but the young writer is cynical. She says she usually has a hard time being a naïve romantic. “In the end, I feel that people believe in love because the alternative is just too tragic.”
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From HT Brunch, August 2
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