I welcome the author of the very popular, smart, cool romance book – “It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote” , Nikita Deshpande. She shares her thoughts on writing, reviews and what motivates her to keep writing. Her book is also featured on the International Giveaway for books – #TornadoGiveaway – It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote You stand a chance of winning a copy of her book by participating in the rafflecopter by sharing about her book.
Nikita speaks from her heart and I enjoyed this candid conversation. I hope you love reading this as much as the wonderful book and the lovely lady!
1. When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
Was there one moment where I decided, ‘yes this is what I want to do’? I don’t know. What
I do know is that I went through a bunch of dark days when I was assisting on films. I was learning a lot, meeting amazing, intelligent people but I was terribly anxious, I felt messed up in the head, I had zero faith in myself. And writing literally saved me. From those feelings and those situations. It pulled me out of chronic helplessness and gave me strength and that feeling of being in control of my own life.
So I guess I write as a respite. I write to escape. I process my world and its odd little events by writing. But above all, I write because it’s just so much fun!
2. Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative.
1) I’ve recently discovered that I like lipstick.
2) I’m very, very picky about my notebooks – I can only write in notebooks with unruled pages that can open flat on their backs (and I like my notebooks slim).
3) I love dark chocolate.
I just realised that reads a bit like a wishlist 😛
3. What has been your motivation for writing this book, “It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote”?
There were lots of things that motivated me. One was having so many friends who are… well, book snobs and who hate trashy romances. And so this premise of locking up a total snob with a writer of a novel like that made me giggle with evil delight. The characters started talking to each other very quickly in my head – so that helped.
I also read a lot of books and writers that do great justice to Romantic Comedy and Young Adult stories – so it was very motivating to come away from reading say The Fault in Our Stars or Those Pricey Thakur Girls and thinking ‘Wow! I’d love to make something as electric as this!’
4. The cover is worth a thousand words, how much of the cover designs for the books did you choose or were they designed by someone else?
I’m so glad you think so. The cover was designed by Haitenlo Semy and illustrated by Pia Hazarika, who are extremely talented and experienced at art as well as with the publishing industry. From my very first chat with Hachette’s Editorial Director Poulomi Chatterji, we knew we weren’t okay with something that looked like some sort of sickly sweet, pink confection. So when I saw the first sketches and the bright yellow cover, I felt we had the vibe of the book right and didn’t have too many inputs.
5. How important are names of the characters in your books? Do you choose the names etc based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
The names of characters are super important to me. It tells me where they’re from, whether their parents had bookshelves in the home when they were growing up, whether they were bullied, and if they were allowed to pursue a degree or career of their choice… I don’t look for meanings of names as much as I look for how they fit into sentences, into the story.
I’m guilty of looking up baby names online. But usually I’ll just let the name come to me when I’m daydreaming.
6. What can your readers look forward to next? Share some details about your WIP?
I’m obsessed with love stories and fantasy fiction. I love comedy. These are the genres I’m playing with. I have a few ideas but it’s still very early days.
7. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I love reading reviews. I’ve worked on this book for 3 years so reviews actually help me come to terms with the idea that it’s a real thing now, that the book is finally out in the world.
If someone directly sends me their feedback or a review, I do respond to them because I really appreciate them taking the time to do that. Otherwise, I just do a private jig. To be honest, the edit process on this book has been so extensive that I think it helped me develop a thick skin. I was more affected by negative feedback from my editors because I knew I had time to fix it but absolutely didn’t know how 😛 They saw through all my tricks and gimmicks and called me out on it. That helped. A lot.
I read a bad review for my book recently and had a bit of a chuckle because the writer sounded quite like my protagonist Ruta. I generally enjoy reading a passionate review, even if it’s bad, because it tells me the reader is invested in the story, even if they didn’t like it.
It’s also a bit flattering when people nitpick – it tells me they read the work deeply and really, really paid attention.
Advice on how to deal with bad reviews? Go to Amazon, open the page for a book written by one of your heroes and then go read the one star reviews. If someone can find a reason to pan JK Rowling or George RR Martin, people like you and me are mere mortals. We’ll be fine.
8. How do you think you have evolved creatively? If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I’ve become a sharper reader, I think. I read books now and see more clearly how writers structure their work and what they do to evoke certain emotions in us.
I read this amazing graphic novel recently called Sex Criminals and wished I could write something like that. If my soulmate were a book, Sex Criminals would be IT. It marries my favorite genres – romantic comedy and fantasy with some beautiful art, telling a story that anybody can relate to. I also love how Sex Criminals treats the subject of sex – never presenting it as something cringeworthy or shameful, making it so funny and entertaining.
9. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?
In my layperson opinion? I think we’re going to saturate ourselves with digital reading until we’re thoroughly sick of it and then we’ll slyly return to proper, physical books. I hope that when this happens, we manage to print and publish more on recycled and sustainable media.
Atleast within the Indian literary industry, I think we need more book clubs and discussion groups, more twitter chats and bookstagrams that promote books by diverse writers and on diverse subjects. We need more translations from regional languages. We need to encourage anthologies and more open calls for manuscripts – to Hachette’s credit, that’s how my manuscript got picked up.
I also think it helps if writers stick together and signal boost information about diverse work on social media so that more people who like to read across authors and genres become aware of newer work.
10. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I occasionally blog at nikitadeshpande.tumblr.com and I love instagramming and tweeting about WIPs, random poetry and upcoming work. I love hearing from people on my Facebook page or on Goodreads.
And if you’re interested in poetry, please go see www.wordkashots.blogspot.com – a friend and I used to make some pretty decent, short, experimental poetry on that blog.
Also, please give It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote a shot. It’s a light, bright, fluffy rom-com that might just bring you some laughs.
Thank you so much for this interview. My best wishes for your book and hope to read a lot more from you real soon.