IndieView with Nikita, author of Messed Up … By Choice

I was living the complete story in my mind. I could actually visualise her doing things, making friends, traveling, fighting the world as if I was watching a Bollywood movie. 

Nikita – 19 January 2017

The Back Flap

Isha has a fearless and free-spirited personality. She is an observer, believes in self-talking ritual and speaks her mind all time. Her parents’ faith and blind trust in her, pushed this attitude to endeavor the unknown territories of human existence. She was living a satisfied and protected life in a small town in India, until one day when she had to move out to pursue higher studies. And then, she was on her own. Eventually, her experimental approach towards unfolding the events of life resulted in – bumpy academic goals, twisted career expectations, and failed relationship(s). She messed up everything. Why? What went wrong with her decision-making skills? Did she come back on track? What happened next is a vicious circle of Karmas…

About the book

What is the book about?

It’s a fiction. It’s a story of a girl, named Isha who goes through a lot of twists and turns in the journey called life. She moved like a stream of water to reach the destination known as self satisfaction. In short, she lived with the flow and stayed happy forever.

When did you start writing the book?

I began writing the book in the beginning of April. I had left my job and was summoned to bed rest due to ligament rupture of the knee. So I was left with nothing to do physically. Then the stories started revolving in my mind and hence this book, Messed Up… By Choice.

How long did it take you to write it?

I took almost five months to write the book. Initially, whenever I felt to write, I did it. Ultimately, I had a pile of unlimited stories. Then I decided to string the stories together and give a novel shape. However, neither did I follow a timetable while writing, nor did I push myself with a deadline. Creative mind works in the free zone!

Where did you get the idea from?

While being the teacher in one of the premier MBA institutes, I explored my skills of observing surroundings with unconventional viewpoint, self reflection and love for writing. It seems that being a girl from small town to a city girl, living with several paying guests, always taking chances in life and fearlessness to explore new has made my perspective towards life quite holistic in nature, which is evident in my story too. I have adopted to publish a book in a way to make my voice heard and to influence people’s thoughts, outlook, and response towards the mirage like the harshness of life.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I would define the struggle as a minor phase where you have entered a new genre and have no idea what to do next. After observing the surroundings a while, that phase vanishes. I struggled with the language part. I had the whole story running in front of my eyes, but when it came to writing down the scene, the charm was getting lost. I was trying to make my words look polished and poised. This led to disinterest in writing. Finally, I took a decision to write down that scene in its most raw form and then during the final editing, I kept the soul of the story intact by just altering the tenses and vocabulary.

What came easily?

The imagination, the story that Isha wanted to convey. This was because I was living the complete story in my mind. I could actually visualise her doing things, making friends, traveling, fighting the world as if I was watching a Bollywood movie.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

Both. The names are borrowed from Bollywood actors/actresses real names or the characters they have played in the movie. As well as each story begins with the real incident’s narration, but later on gets into a fictitious script.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

I am an avid reader of fiction, biographies, self help books and books related to education such as GRIT, Learning Landscape. Paulo Coelho has helped me to believe in spirituality, omens, and Howard Gardner taught me how to identify children’s multiple intelligences and nurture them. Along with this, Indian writers such as Chetan Bhagat, Twinkle Khanna, and Rashmi Bansal have influenced my writing pattern, i.e. to write in a simple language so that everybody can visualize, understand, and reflect on the message to be conveyed.

Do you have a target reader?

The story would appeal to people of 16-40 yrs; the one who likes to read a book with multiple themes in the form of short stories; the one who reads books that are written in simple language using a plain tone, yet demonstrating a strong viewpoint;  the one who loves Bollywood movie type stories, the one who wants to begin a habit of reading books.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so, can you please describe it?

Observe surrounding, reflect upon it, bring out the positive and inspiring elements from the surroundings, talk about it with other people to get the differed perspectives, shape it in a story form and write it down.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

I keep a journal with me all the time. This journal is a file on the cloud which is accessible from all my gadgets. I write down the chapter titles, any incident (not the full story, but the gist) that I feel I would take that into my book and anything else, which clicks in the mind at any moment. Then, whenever I sit down to write the book, I articulate the incident in proper format.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

As I mentioned earlier, first I write the story in its raw form. As I finish one chapter/theme/topic, I leave it as it is and move on to the next chapter. After writing down on one or two more topics, I revisit the previous chapter and edit it twice. In this way, there is a break between writing and editing. Hence, this saves from monotony while being attached to your book continuously.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Nope, I did not hire any professional editor. I did basic editing using Ginger and Grammarly.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

Nope. While writing, I visualize the whole story so there is nothing else which I do.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?


What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I had sent my sample chapters to various traditional publishers and waited for 4 months to get at least an acknowledgement which I did not receive any. Then the concept of self publishing caught my attention while surfing the net. I found this handy when one really wants her story to be told worldwide.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

I had selected the main image for the book cover from Pixabay and then the self publishing agency, Educreation Publishing (New Delhi, India) designed it.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I am focusing on getting book reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and FB page. I have already started a Giveaway on Goodreads. Then there is a radio interview scheduled. Along with this, two rounds of promotion via Facebook marketing are done and more are planned.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Advice: Writing is a tool of revolution. Use it wisely. Your words would influence the readers in one or the other way. Just think upon the purpose of writing and message you want to deliver. And at the end: Just write it down anyway!

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Abu Road, a small town near Mount Abu, Rajastan, India.

Where do you live now?

Same as above.

What would you like readers to know about you?

  • I like to listen. I like to observe. I like to discuss. I like to talk.

  • I love asymmetry. It is creative and beautiful.

What are you working on now?

I am a research scholar, pursuing my Ph.D. in management. My area of research is school education.

End of Interview:

For more from Nikita, visit her blog or like her Facebook page.

Get your copy of Messed Up … By Choice from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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