Author of 10 best-selling novels, Nikita Singh, one day got a Facebook message from Akash Agarwal, 16, (name changed). He said his mum was ill and was admitted to a hospital in Vadodara.
He was in the same room as his mother and was very disturbed. That is when he chanced upon Nikita’s books, Like a Love Song. “I couldn’t stop as I started reading it,” Akash wrote, adding, “It calmed me down and took me away from my present situation. Now, I have read all your books. It helped me cope with the stress.”
Nikita, 25, just published her tenth novel Every Time It Rains with Harper Collins. On why her books have been so popular, she says, “My books are honest. The characters are real. They are not perfect and they too make mistakes. My books are about life and relationships. I am an ardent believer of happy endings. These make people feel good and hence, they read my novels.”
Her latest novel is a continuation of Like a Love Song. Her earlier novel was about Maahi and her best friend Laila. The book was more about Maahi and Laila’s background was not established. So, in her latest book, Nikita decided to tell the story from Laila’s perspective.
In the earlier book, the two friends had set up a bakery. This book starts from the same spot, and they are shown building up their business. But some new characters have been added.
Nikita’s stories are character-driven. “They are very real in my imagination,” she says.
“I see them clearly in my head and they are very close to my heart. I am okay with changing the plot, but not the characters.”
Writing for Nikita happened just by chance. She was studying B. Pharm at the Acropolis Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in Indore when she realised this was not her calling. She didn’t see herself practising pharmacy. And that’s when she though of writing. “Writing was always at the back of my mind, but I never thought about it seriously before this,” she says.
She is an avid reader but when she came across a badly written novel by an Indian author, she thought she could do better. So then she sat down with a notebook and started writing.
In a couple of weeks, she sent the synopsis of the first two paragraphs to Delhi-based Pustak Mahal publishers. They accepted it and her life changed thereafter.
After graduating, Nikita did her masters in creative writing from The New School, New York. She now works as a stylist at cloth retailer J Crew in New York. “I am always looking for new experiences,” the author says.