Chennai: For someone who has authored six best-selling novels, is considered one of the country’s young adult literary icons and has also been a recipient of a 2013 Young Achiever Award, it’s quite unnerving to hear the ravishing Nikita Singh say that she didn’t take to books until she finished high school.
“I know, it’s hard to believe, but I never understood why someone would read a 400-page novel without any illustrations or pictures,” she sheepishly admits. “My dad had a massive library, and I would keep asking him to give the books away to make more space in the house. He’d tell me that he hoped I would maybe start reading someday! Little did he know that not only would I fall head over heels in love with the literary world, but would also become a writer! My parents have been super supportive of me,” Nikita beams.
The 22-year old who is currently based in Delhi is renowned for her teen romance novels, such as Love@Facebook, Accidentally in Love and The Promise. However, her latest offering, Right Here Right Now, does stray away from the premise of love and focusses on something more deep, she says.
“Reinventing yourself is harder when you don’t remember who you were. It’s about a 17-year-old who wakes up in hospital with no recollection of how she got there, and is diagnosed with retrograde amnesia. She doesn’t recognise her family, her friends, her boyfriend — and she has her exams to clear! The story is about coming of age and finding oneself — if you take away the amnesia factor, it’s actually something all of us go through; trying to be cool, peer pressure, career choices, etc,” Nikita explains.
The seven months in between her 12th grade exams and college were the most influential for her as she discovered reading, Nikita says. “I started off with Harry Potter, of course, and then read nearly a book a day for all that time which passed in a blur. Every story had an incident that stuck with me,” she says.
Nikita adds, “Similarly, my books are inspired by day-to-day happenings not necessarily from my life, but from what I observe around me. Though I’ve only dabbled in young romance so far, I do want to diversify into other genres soon — fantasy is something I’m excited about.”
The author who is also a publishing manager at Wisdom Tree, finds time to learn jazz dancing, enjoys her cardio work out and swimming. “I also used to paint, but I hardly find time now,” Nikita muses. She may have influenced thousands of teens across the country to relate to her novels and desire to find love — but what about her own story? “Right now, I’m single, but I’m in no hurry to go on a man-hunt and find someone. When it happens, it will, and I’m waiting happily for him to come,” she laughs.
Nikita signs off saying, “It’ll be my first trip to Chennai for the book launch of Right Here Right Now, and I’m really looking forward to it. The response has been great in the other centres!”