Naina Gupta is the author of the upcoming
THE BOLLYWOOD BREAK-UP AGENCY
Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?
Well I am writing my book in secret, so I have to start writing when everyone has left the house. I write during my free time in between work and college, usually in the morning and I make sure I write what I consider to be a significant amount – at least a thousand words. I don’t have an average writing day. I write whenever I can, but I make sure that I do write something.
When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
My book revolves around arranged marriages. I am at that time in my life where everyone I know is going through the marriage process, either love, arranged or a mixture of both. That’s what inspired me to write the book in the first place. And I wanted it to be funny. When everyone you know can provide the inspiration, you can always put your own crazy spin on it.
There is also a parallel soap plot in the story, hence the reference to Bollywood. I have watched a lot of Indian soaps over my life, most Asian people have seen at least one, and each is more ridiculous than the last. I wanted people outside of the community to have as much and laugh at them as I do. I’m writing my own soap story, and that’s a lot of fun.
What was your journey to being a published author like?
I’m still in the writing stage so I’m not published yet but I am blogging about it – www.naina-g.blogspot.com
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
That it’s easy, and writers just sit around all day. It’s a lot of hard work, and you have to deal with your own fear and self doubt on a regular basis, which is especially true as a new author.
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Just keep going. I know that it’s a cliche but it is true. Writing a book takes time and a lot of effort. Even those ones that you’ve read in two days took the author months and months of slaving away in front of the laptop.
What are you working on at the moment?
The Bollywood Breakup Agency is about Neela, who has been cut off from her parents’ money for rejecting yet another loser in a long line of suitors. Desperate for cash, she sets up a secret business trying to break up arrangements of others who realise that the person they have chosen may not be right for them.
What are your top five writing tips?
1) Keep a notebook with you for when you’re not at home or your computer isn’t on. Every now and then, when even a simple sentence pops into your head write it down. Then you can add on to it when you are writing your novel.
2) Don’t write in order. If something appears in your head, but it isn’t the right time to write it into your novel, write it anyway while the idea is fresh. You can always link everything together later.
3) Know where your story is going. Don’t just wing it.
4) Enjoy what you are writing. If you aren’t having fun writing, how can you expect your readers to enjoy reading it?
5) When you have brain block (which I get a lot) take some time away from your computer, have a rest or just do something else and come back with a fresh mind. Clear brain space really helps.