Sunday, March 17, 2019

Meet Nithya - Author of Once Upon a Reunion

Today we have Nithya to discuss her book "Once Upon a Reunion" with us. Those who have missed our review of the book can check here.


Before we go to serious questions, can you please brief our readers about your educational & professional background?
Educational Background – BE (Computer Science), MBA
Professional Background – As an e-learning developer in World Bank, Cognizant, Sify, Xerox, Zoho
What were you like at school/college apart from studies? 
Introvert, bordering on being asocial
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
I read a lot. I read 1-2 books every week. Currently, I am reading, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. I do not have any favorite authors, though I can say I have read all the works of Kurt Vonnegut and Murakami. I am most inspired by Murakami.
When did you start writing?
At the age of six, I wrote a short story, which got me a first prize. I think it was about my Mum and how she got me a dog.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I think I was always writing, either in my mind or on the paper. It was in 2009 that I decided to get my first novella out, ‘Legal Bond’, which garnered quite some interest.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I aim to reach out to more readers, to share my views, my experiences.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I write whenever I find time. I write in the morning, while waiting for the curry to cook, while I eat my lunch at office, while watching a movie on TV. Whenever I find time and an idea strikes, I write.
What have you written?
My first novella was Legal Bond published by Pageturn Publishers (now closed). Then I self-published, ‘Entrapment in Aquamarine’. I wrote a short story, ‘Kalyani’, for the Commonwealth Award, which got shortlisted from India, last year.
What genre are your books?
Legal Bond and Entrapment in Aquamarine – Romance; Four Blocks Wide (including Kalyani) – Literary fiction/short story; Once Upon a Reunion – Literary Fiction

Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
My current book, Once Upon a Reunion is about a woman, Nirmala and how her past doesn’t let her move on. How a painful break up forces her to yearn for her lost lover. It is a slice of life story, which I believe can be anybody’s story.
Give us an insight into your main character
The main characters are Nirmala, her husband, Sreenivas, Suresh – Nirmala’s ex. Others are part of the periphery.
Where did you get idea for this book?
I recently attended a school reunion. I happened to meet two exes who refused to speak with each other. I knew both their back stories and I decided to put it out with a lot of fictional elements. I was hoping that they would read my book and realize that it was not anybody’s fault that they got separated.
How much research did you do for this book?
A lot. Spoke to many of my classmates including the estranged lovers. 
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Nirmala, of course. Nirmala can be any woman we know. The complexities of relationships is what I have tried to capture. Why we do what we do? Why we react in a certain way and so on. There is a scene where Sreenivas hits Nirmala. This particular scene gave rise to many questions: how could she react like that? Why didn’t she hit him back? Many questions, many objections. The various layers that all of us wear, at all times forces us to hide our insecurities and hypocrisies. We are not uni-dimensional characters, we have multiple shades. I am trying to give a new point of view with my protagonist.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
I would say, Indraneel. I started by making him a yearning lover of Nirmala. But, this character took on a new shape. It was as if the evil in him just came out and forced me to add the layers on his persona.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Hardest thing was to keep the emotions in check as I had to keep recollecting incidents from my school days, which led to a lot of depressing moments for me. I recollected several incidents which I had buried.
Release date
Feb 5, 2019
Tell us the response you have received for your book from readers.
I sold around 500 copies within a month and my KENP number is at 15,000 pages. The response has been good and I got very good feedback about my writing style. There were critical comments about the way the murder part was handled. I agree with the thriller element not being up to the reader’s expectation. I would just say that I had not intended to write a thriller. This is just Nirmala’s story and how she comes to terms with a loss.
What are you working on at the minute?
I am working on a full length novel.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
A book series is a great idea, provided there is continuity in the ideas across the books.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep reading, keep writing. Write daily.
Links for your book readers
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