Saturday, October 28, 2017

Interview with author Nidhi Dalmia

In a conversation with Nidhi Dalmia, author of the book Harp. To know more about the book Harp, please visit Book Review : Harp - Nidhi Dalmia

-- Interview with author Nidhi Dalmia --

Q: “Harp” made you a published author, how does it feel holding a copy of the same in your hand?
A: Since Harp is my first book, it is really close to my heart. I have always wanted to write from the time when I was a schoolboy. I remember my best friend wouldn’t believe me, when I first told him that I want to become a writer. My friend used to say, “You are from a top industrial family, you will be an industrialist.” I wanted to become a writer in addition to running a business, not in place of it. And now, when I have published my first book, holding it in my hands gives me an immense pleasure and when someone appreciates my book, it’s a cherry on the cake.

Q: Tell us about why you thought of coming up with the book, “Harp”?
A: We all have stories to tell, I wanted to describe the hope and idealism of the sixties that I and many others thought would never end—how the themes conveyed then were universal and how music was intermixed with everyday life. I wanted to write about the universality of human emotions and feelings. I wrote a tale about how love and obligation compartmentalize people, making them choose between love and duty, between the head and the heart, between one’s social contract and what one wants. I wanted to describe a deeply felt love story, as different as any personal experience can be.

Q: How did you finalize the title, “Harp” and the cover photo, did you have options?
A: One of the main protagonists plays the Harp. Her commitment to it partly drives the narrative hence, the choice of name.

Q: What can we expect from you in near future? Any books lined up to be published?
A: I have always been inclined towards writing; I believe words have a deeper effect on people. I have written my second book and in fact, written before Harp. But a lot of editing and revision is required, so I am working on it currently.

Q: How did you plan for the book, Harp? Was there a process that you followed?
A: As I said, I always wanted to write and I write every day. Writing is a therapy for me, it makes me happy. Words give me power to express emotions and feeling.

Q: What was the reaction of your friends or family members when you first told them that you wanted to be a writer? Can you tell us something about the support that you received from them?
A: The reaction from some friends was of impatience. They all were excited to read the finished product as soon as possible. And from family, it was of acceptance and that constituted the support.

Q: You took up writing as an intentional move or multiple sequences of events led to writing?
A: It was an intentional and a deliberate move, slow and painstaking effort.

Q: Being a published author is a different feeling altogether. How do you make sure that this feeling stays alive?
A: I listen to people and their reaction about my book, it empowers me.
Interview with author Nidhi Dalmia
Interview with author Nidhi Dalmia

Q: Your book, “Harp” is about travel, music and culture mostly, why did you only pick these topics to convey your story?
A: Harp is a deeply felt love story. I picked travel, music and culture in this book so that my readers can relate to the book. Since it is based on 60’s, the younger readers need to feel a connection to that era.

Q: Your book, Harp, is inspired, real or completely fictional?
A: Harp totally is a fictional novel. But people often ask me if it is a biography, but we always draw upon our experiences, particularly travel experiences. Some of the people I had the privilege to meet inspired me to take aspects of their personality and create new characters, which acquired a life of their own.

Q: Your book, Harp, has received many good reviews, any particular review that made you go wow?
A: Mid-Western Review

Q: Tell us about, how writing is a part of your daily life?
A: I prefer to write in the first half of the day when I am fresh and my mind is active. A lot of imagination, creativity and inspiration are required besides dedication to write a novel. I write on a standard desktop at our drawing room called the Neela Kamra because of its ethereal blue chandelier. It overlooks the evergreen back garden. However, when I travel then I have to use the laptop to pen down my thoughts.

Q: Tell us something about the mental transformation you had to do from being a corporate leader to being a writer? How were these worlds different or similar?
A: When I was in school my mentors always praised for my essays. Later on when I wrote letters to the Government on various matters, bureaucrats praised my writing saying ‘you have thought through every word’. When I wrote briefs for Lawyers for my legal matters they found it very well drafted. Then when I attempted writing fiction later on in life, I found that it read well. That’s when I decided to invite.

Q: Tell us something about your experience of getting the books published?
A: I was lucky to find Authors Upfront who edited it and helped me at every stage of the process including with and Amazon in the US market.

Q: If you get a chance to live one of your characters, which would that be and why?
A: It would be Ashok because of all the interesting people he meets.

Q: Do you read as much as you write? Which are your favourite books?
A: Yes, I love reading too. I admire Leo Tolstoy, Pushkin, Chekhov, Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Erich Maria Remarque, J.D. Salinger, Phillip Roth, John Steinbeck, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala amongst others.

Q: You prefer reading e-books or the traditional paper back/hard cover? Why?
A: I like the feel, touch, smell of the book in my hands. I prefer paperbacks.

Q: If your book, Harp, is made into a Bollywood movie, who do you think should the lead actors be?
A: Lauren would have to be foreign. Aparna could be Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone or Kangana Ranaut – all these are very versatile actors who fit into the role convincingly. And for the male actor, I have no clear idea at the moment.

Q: Two things that you like and dislike about being an author?
A: Like- The satisfaction of expression and the connection it gives with the readers.
Dislike: The marketing and commercial aspects that have to be pursued.

Q: If you have to give one reason to our readers to pick up your book, what would that be?
A: What other book goes behind the iron Curtain and has Music as almost a character in itself in describing the magical time of the Late Sixties. Also the only novel to deal with the Dairy Industry.

Q: Any message you would want to share with our readers?
A: Live Life without regrets. Do what you want to do, even if others don’t think it’s for the best.

Q: How can our readers connect with you?
A: You can visit my website

-- End of Interview with author Nidhi Dalmia --
You can order a copy of the book from Flipkart and Amazon.

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