Nivedita has done her major in physics and her masters from the University of Calcutta and achieved the gold medal. She was also a Junior Research Fellow in IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur. Currently she is pursuing her PhD in Nano Science and Technology developing techniques for early detection of cancer from the Indian Institute of Science and weaving her Stanford Dreams.
She was adjudged “Teen of the Year, Eastern India” in 2004. She was also awarded INSPIRE Fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India for her excellent performance in Masters. She was adjudicated as one the top 50 travelers in India by Cox and Kings.
What inspired you to start writing?
I talk and smile a lot. People invariably assume I am uninhibited and unreserved. But deep down I am an introvert through and through. I have never been comfortable in conveying my inmost emotions and hence I resorted to the magic called “diary” when I was a meager 12 years old. That’s when my journey as a writer began.
Well, there is no particular incident that inspired me to write. I always knew I have it in me. Probably, everyone has. We just need to nurture our writer soul with consecration and devotion.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
I wasn’t the clichéd Mills and Boons teenager, waiting for my tall dark handsome prince charming to sweep me off my feet. I was a complete thriller junkie. I fed myself an overdose of Arthur Conan Doyle, Saradindu Bandopadhay (Creator of the character Byomkesh Bakshi), Robin Cook, Sidney Sheldon and Satyajit Ray (Yes, he is a writer too!). I remember borrowing Harry Potter books from a friend much after the Harry Potter frenzy to change my taste in literature.
Now I read books across all genres but thriller will always remain close to my heart.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Like I mentioned before, we all have a writer soul. We just need to water it and feed it the required nutrients to bring out the best in our writer soul. So, writing a book isn’t really a challenge. It is more like a practice that you have to follow religiously. Writing a book is more a story of dedication and conviction than hurdles and challenges. Actually, the challenge seeps in when you have finished writing the book. Yes, I am talking of getting published. That’s the challenge. And even if you somehow manage to get published, publicity is the biggest challenge. In India, everyday, more than 250 new books are released in the market. You can get an estimate of the competition. Making your book visible to people is the real big challenge after getting published. And it’s arduous to say the least.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Well, since the story of my book is about a girl growing up I had to light the lamp of imagination and blow off the factual candle. Basically, my challenge was to bring credibility and freshness to the story rather than being factually correct.
What motivated you to write the book “Me and that Extra “N””?
Fairy Tales and Movies make us believe in an incredible love which actually does not exist. Romantic novels and movies etch a very skewed image of love in our minds. And probably that is why our generation suffers from lovesickness. When our first relationship crumples we lose faith in love. Well, love isn’t a race. There isn’t no first second and third. Your second love is as intense as your first. You can fall out of love. It’s natural. You cannot relate morality to love. I through my story wanted to portray love in a very different light. A love that is more realistic and believable. A love that happens to mundane people like you and me (I have taken the liberty to call you mundane. Do excuse me for that). Through my protagonist I wanted to break the myths that we associate with love. “Me and that Extra “N”” is a relatable love story where you will find yourself in all the pages.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Me and that Extra “N””?
“Me and that Extra”N”” is a very earthy story of a girl growing up to become a lady. You would say what’s so great about it? Well, there lies your answer. It’s not great and that’s where its appeal lies. In a country of 1.25 billion people, how many are really great. Most people are as ordinary as me and Netra, the protagonist of my story. That does not mean we don’t have a story. All of us have a story worth telling. And Netra definitely has an interesting story to offer you.
How did you come up with the idea of writing fiction genre book?
I am a big fan of fiction. Non-fiction has boundaries but fiction has none. Fiction is like Red Bull. It gives you wings.
So, when I thought of writing a book I immediately knew I would write a fiction.
Who are your favorite authors?
It’s like asking Sachin Tendulkar about his favorite innings. I cannot really be partial to any of the authors whose work I have enjoyed. They are all so close to my heart.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
It depends. I am very temperamental (I don’t like using moody because people generally associate it with PMS). On some days, I don’t go to work and write all day and on other days I don’t feel like writing at all.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Really! Am I qualified?
I will keep it short. An aspiring writer has to do nothing different from an aspiring dancer, doctor or athlete. Keep believing in yourself. Never fear rejection. All the people in this world would not like your story. It’s not The Bible after all. But you cannot afford to lose conviction in your story.
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