In Conversation with The Author who knits beautiful stories

Exclusive Interview with the Author Nilakshi Garg

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Nilakshi Garg is a keen observer and a great examiner of thoughts and emotions. She is working as a content lead in a tech firm. Nilakshi has received “Best Romance Author of The Year 2022” by Indian Glory Awards. She has authored the book, Mirage. Let us know more about her in this interview.

Q1) Since when did you start having interest in writing? Tell us something about your writing journey.

Ans :I have been into writing since childhood. As far as I remember, I starter writing when I was in 10th grade. Writing has been the ultimate escape for me. It is the only route for me to explain and express myself. I am a very vocal person when it comes to writing. I love playing around with words and moving people’s emotions with my words. I used to write short Hindi poems, quotes, and stories initially. Then, I picked up on English as the medium to write. I connect with English novels more than Hindi. So, I began my journey writing short stories, quotes, poem, even jokes for my friends and personal circle when I was developing as a writer. However, in the later years like in 2017-18, I got references from my friends to work as a freelancer. That time, I was completely into another vertical, administration and accounting. I never imagined that I could make a career out of content that time. However, it was always one of my dreams to be a published author.

Q2) How did the idea of “Mirage” come to your mind. Tell us more about the plot of the book. Also share the link of the book.

Ans :

Back in 2019, I was in the middle of a rough ground in my career. I was unable to get more clients during a phase of my freelancer career. That’s when the idea of Mirage hit me. I was kind of depressed and anxious to grow at a faster rate in my career. At that time, I wasn’t in touch with many people because I wanted to make it big. That’s when the character of Bethany developed in my mind along with the positive ray of hope in her life, that was, Gerald. It’s the story that hits home for many of the people around the globe, especially in India. It’s the story of two polar opposites, mental health, self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence. It’s the coming-of-age romance to accept that one can have a mental health issue and at the same time deserve true love like anyone else in the world. It is a happily-ever-after romance book. It has many layers and people who love to have a bedtime read will definitely enjoy it. The story is quirky, witty, funny initially then it picks up pace on the suspense revealed in the second half of the book. I can say Mirage is a personal journey of this female entrepreneur called Bethany Carlson. She is a tattoo artist in Chicago and she has her own parlor for that. But her life is nothing what she portrays or as she assumes it to be. The answer is plain and simple but it is her mind that binds her and creates a Mirage around her. That’s why, the slogan says it’s her time to break the Mirage.

Link of the book:

https://www.amazon.in/Mirage-Nilakshi-Garg-ebook/dp/B08JM1HMPV/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1682232615&sr=8-1

 

Q3) Tell us something about your hobbies. Have you mastered the art of managing your hobbies and your passion by now or you are still finding ways to do it?

Ans :My hobbies are reading, writing, dancing, and doing yoga/meditation. I believe in mastering yourself and being consistent with your character. However, one must always keep an open mind to keep evolving with time and trends. So, I believe I am always learning, even if I keep mastering my hobbies, passion, and profession. There’s no stop to where I want to reach with my craft. The sky and the space are the limit for me.

Q4) From preparing the draft of the book, to selecting the cover page to publishing it, it is a process that requires total scrutiny and involvement. Tell us about your experience and were there any hardships that you faced in the process?

Ans :It took me one year for publishing my first book and novel. I took my sweet time (about 6-7 months) for drafting the story and the plot, while working as a freelancer. I handled how to multitask swiftly. No doubt in that that this process requires a lot of commitment, scrutiny, and consistency. As an author, I have felt helpless during the times I was writing the draft. But I had my small readers’ tribe which were my own people who kept pushing me to publish the book. After finishing the draft, another 5-6 months went into editing, copyediting, proofreading, correcting the loop holes/ plot holes, making sure that the cover is justified with the title, deciding on the slogan, publishing channels, and much more. This was an interesting project to work on as a self-published author and it indeed gave me a lot more confidence as to what I can achieve in life if I have the right vision and tribe to keep cheering me on. Most of the hardships were related to time management, feeling out of space, feeling not motivated enough, getting bored to read the same draft repeatedly to take out the mistakes from the publisher’s end, and making sure that the book goes live on the right time. It was a tough ride at the end when it had to go live and we could not afford any more changes, neither we had time to reread the book entirely. So we had to make the most of the given time and read the story from every other perspective possible. My family and close friends showed a greater support to read the first multiple drafts and kept pin pointing the mistakes I could get removed on time.

Q5) As an author, do you feel book reviews are important? Do you find genuine book reviewers or its difficult to find people who can actually do reviews?

Ans :Reviews are important, no doubt in that. However, an author must not obsess over reviews. First, the author needs to know why they want to publish a story and are they having fun while writing the draft. If the author is agitated and not wanting to complete the story, how will the readers connect? So the first focus should be on enjoying the book writing process. Then, the focus should be on overall marketing campaigns and activities. If these activities are successful, reviews will eventually pour in in no time. Finding genuine book reviewers can be definitely tough. Most of them keep Instagramming me for paid reviews. It breaks my heart as a self-published author. But this is also a business for them all. However, the most genuine readers will eventually find you and review you. But that does not mean that you lose the tribe you want to create for yourself. You must create a genuine email or subscribers list to keep showing up in their inbox, for giving them exciting news for your next projects.

Q6) There is a large section of the youth who thinks of writing their solo book but lack the courage to do so. What is your advice to them?

Ans :Build your tribe and have a clear mindset. Have difference experiences in life and gain broader and dissimilar perspectives. Have difficult conversations with people you don’t have a vibe with. Authors need to go on these experiences spree to gain the courage and confidence to build better, stronger, and more hard-hitting stories. As long as you are willing to try, show up in the world, sharpen your intuition, you can be the best author for your readers and tribe. There’s nothing to worry. Keep writing, sharpening your craft, and keep experiencing.

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