Chennai: Ever since Neharika Gupta’s novel ‘Adulting‘ hit the shelves, readers have greeted it with glowing reviews.
“Her characters will stay with you long after you finish the book,” said bestselling author Ravinder Singh in a blurb on cover of ‘Adulting‘. A triangle love story that explores lives of Tejas, Aisha and Ruhi as they face personal demons, the book debuted this August and was ranked number two in Neilsen list.
“Since I read Harry Potter books, it changed my life,” writes Neharika via email interview with News Today. “I started my journey as an editor at a publishing house and soon transitioned to writing,” she says.
She explains how she created her novel. “I began ideating while studying creative writing and wanted to write about themes and issues I’d seen in young people around me. I zeroed in on characters after deciding their core conflicts, and eventually they took shape and formed an identity,” she says.
Where does she find ideas? “In the world around me. Also, we all have certain genres of books or movies we are drawn to. I like coming-of-age stories and tracing the journey to adulthood,” says Neharika.
Writer’s block is an issue many authors face. Neharika explores this conflict through her character Tejas, who is a bestselling novelist.
How does she handle it? “I kick it in the butt,” she says, adding she tries to “understand what the block is. Sometimes, I need to read my old writing to understand mood of the new piece or I need to do a draft anyway, no matter how awful, which I will edit later.”
She further adds that she needs time to read a bit to cut tension between herself and the page. It is a lot of following my intuition and staying with the page, says Neharika.
While pursuing Master’s in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University in England, Neharika learned two valuable things. First, she stresses that it’s essential to be “easy when writing the first draft. It won’t be good, it won’t be anything. When you work at it, slowly but surely, a story will emerge.”
Second, Neharika strongly encourages to take part in writing workshop to get constructive feedback. “Also create a space for yourself at home when you do a creative writing online course, have a few supportive friends, and be surrounded with books,” she says.
Neharika shared her thoughts on self-publishing. “Spend a serious amount of time understanding in detail the financial implications of offline and online marketing. What role you want media to play in your book’s coverage, literature festival circuit and time you plan to travel across India to support your book.”
The author is generous to offer tips for budding writers. “Create a lifelong writing habit of hitting the page every morning for 30 minutes without fail. Through social media, explore the world of book bloggers and go through book sections in newspapers to understand what people are reading,” she says.
She concludes the conversation with, “It is a long and arduous process of writing and getting published.”