“Sometimes when I look back and see how far I have come; yes, it is a little surreal,” she says.
There is something mysterious about ‘success’ indeed. To some, it is a long elusive road; to many, quite a treacherous one and to a lot many, it is a quiet dank ‘waiting room’! But, then, life is full of exceptions, isn’t it? Quite often, along the way, we meet people who will beat the norm and become an exception, a special few for whom success has never been elusive!
At a young age of just 22, Nikita Singh is an accomplished author of six successful novels, each one a best seller. And, according to an online research by Flipkart, Nikita Singh’s titles outstrip works of connoisseurs like Nicholas Sparks, Amitav Ghosh and Ayn Rand! That’s what we call an exception, someone who epitomizes success with such envious ease!
“I’m just very fortunate to have found my passion so young and work hard on it to get where I am now. I do feel humbled for whatever I have,” Nikita Singh says. That, perhaps, explains her feat. At an age when youngsters like her often indulge in boyish fancies, Nikita seems to have found her true calling and, thus, strides ahead in her rewarding road to stardom as an author. Remember what Oprah Winfrey once said? “…Each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others…”
When Nikita Singh was just 19, her first book, Love @ Facebook was published. And, then, within just a few years, there were a flurry of best sellers like The Promise, Someone Like You, Accidentally in Love, If It’s Not Forever, it’s Not Love, Right Here Right Now, two of which she co-authored with another young prolific writer, Durjoy Dutta.
Hmmm, at this stage, we cannot help but marvel at the sheer talent of this ‘twenty-something’ prolific achiever. To which she quips, “I am ambitious and confused too. And, at many times, I feel like I do not know where this is going and what I am doing with my life! I have had quite a few existential crises! But yes, I do have one thing figured out—that I’m going to be writing. Whatever else I might be doing, writing is going to be one constant thing in my life.” Haven’t we talked about this that she has definitely found her true calling!
Well, six books in such a short period of time? Haven’t we heard innumerable infamous tales of writer’s block and their associated woes? What about authors who spend years together to pen just one masterpiece! With all due respect to those ‘greats’, without even daring to sound churlish here, we seem to be quite at awe of this feat of Nikita, we fail to fathom how she does it! Her answer very well comes to our rescue again, “The thing with me is that I never feel contented. Even before I finish writing one book, I already start planning for the next one. Maybe that’s a good thing—something that keeps me moving forward.”
It has often been written that Nikita writes at a supersonic speed. That her first book, Love @ Facebook took 14 days and Accidently in Love was done in 13 days! She further explains, “I let the story form and re-form and percolate in the back of my head for months before I sit down to write it. So when I finally sit down to write, the story is in the final stage and it just flows. Those couple of weeks when I am writing the book, I do nothing else—I sit down to write at 8 PM and keep writing till 11 AM, sleep for a few hours, think of the next few chapters and sit down again in the evening. That’s my process. I don’t know how some writers write a little every day. I could never do that. Unless I write at least 4-5,000 words a day (on the days that I’m working on a book), I feel agitated. Writing less words than that gives me no satisfaction.”
Writing has always been the best form of expression for Nikita from her childhood. The seed was sowed pretty early in her life. So, we ask her if she fancied becoming a writer as a child. “There were signs that I didn’t notice. I was into writing long letters, and even now I write the longest text messages and unimaginably long emails. When I have something on my mind, I just need to get it out,” she tells us. Not surprisingly, “write a book” was on her bucket list as a teenager too. But then, she further adds that she had never planned on becoming a professional writer. “It started as a hobby and has slowly developed from passion to obsession,” she says. She is a voracious reader now, has a huge collection of books, it is told. But, it was only after she turned 16 that she started enjoying reading as much as she does today. She affirms, “But when I did start reading in my late teens, I more than made up for it. I read a lot of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl then.”
As an author, Nikita’s most favourite genre is romantic fiction. She asserts, “Good love stories are just so rare these days, you only find them in fiction!” She thoroughly enjoys reading books by Cecilia Ahern, another young successful and a best-selling author, pretty much like her. Her other favourites are Jeffery Archer and John Grisham. “John Green’s work inspires me. The kind of connect he makes with his readers is very admirable,” she adds.
Amidst a chockablock schedule, book launches across multiple cities and thousand flying miles across the skies, Nikita Singh takes out time to talk to us about her latest book in the stands, Right Here Right Now. As she speaks about Right Here Right Now, her cheeks flush and the excitement in her voice is palpable. We ask her if this is like her dream project, something that she has been itching to write about for long and she says, “Right Here Right Now is exactly what you are talking about. I have mostly been writing romance fiction and general fictions. This is the first time after Love @ Facebook that I have written a book in the Young Adult (YA) genre. I was advised against it (YA sells less than romance) by my well-wishers, but I just really wanted to write it. My publishers have supported my every step of the way, and that’s how this book was possible.” This novel is about how sa 17-year-old looks at life as a teenager. Nikita reveals, “This will be identifiable among teenagers as well as readers like me who will be able to recall the times when they felt misunderstood, misread or weren’t able to figure why things were happening in a certain way.”
Nikita’s heartfelt stories of romance and humour often establish strong connections with young people of her age and this perhaps contributes to the success of her best-selling novels. As she puts forth, “I write about lives and stories about people like me, and hence, it is relatable.” Of all the six novels that she has penned, Nikita’s personal favourite is The Promise. She acknowledges, “I think this is my best solo work. It is a tear-jerker and many a times, I found it hard not to break into inconsolable tears while writing it. I feel it is very close to my heart.” As we speak, her latest book, Right Here Right Now has already hit the stands. But, hey, as we already know, her next story must be on the anvil soon. When prodded, she responds, “I will be working on a romance fiction next. The story has been with me for a long time now and I hope I can do justice to it.”
Nikita Singh’s journey of books have been stupendous indeed, this is almost like stating the obvious. And, from each step, she has taken many leaps and enjoyed every step on the way, but, as the famous saying goes, the hardest part of the journey is always the next step. So, we ask her, ‘have you conceived any goals for future, fancy winning some international accolade as well’? She responds with envious ease again, “I set goals only for the next one year, or the next one book. I have not decided what I am going to do full time—so that’s just something I shall figure out on the way. But I will continue writing, that’s for sure!” And, then comes the final golden remark, “Too many plans ruin the fun of the journey anyway!”
“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey” Nikita!s
Written by Sudipa Chakraborty
features editor @ Storizen Magazine