Nikhil Mahajan Reveals the Secret Behind Writing a Successful Book

Your website profile says you’re a “physiotherapist turned author”. How and when did writing become an important part of your life?

Yes, I am a physiotherapist-turned-author. The writing instinct has always been a part of me, I first drafted some notes for a book around nine years back when I was pursuing my Masters. But the literary aspiration remained buried deep inside me. It came to the fore-front with a break-up which left my spirit broken, for almost two years. As wise men say everything happens for something good, and it happened with me too. The story of my life came out as my first book My Love Never Faked, turning me into an author and now I write about everything which encircles my life.

Why did you decide to publish your writing?

During the ups and downs in my relationship, I was once traveling with a friend to Delhi. On the way the friend read a few pages of my travel notes which I always carry with me. After reading it, my friend told me to add details to it and get it published.

You initially wrote fiction focused on friendship and love. White Smoke is a thriller, how did that shift happen?

True. I had been writing commercial romances till last year when I switched to writing thrillers as I had started to experience a writer’s block with the romance genre. One fine day, sick of experiencing the writers block, I decided to write a thriller, which was so rejuvenating that I decided to shift and White Smoke happened, which received a great response.
The thing is, I do not want to be tagged as a writer of a specific genre and want to explore writing all genres.

Let’s go back to your first book. What was the process of looking for a publisher like?

The first phase of my journey was not very smooth. I was rejected a lot of times, by five or six publishers. And few of them said it wasn’t a novel, but rather an autobiography. But then, Jayanta Kumar Bose from Srishti Publishers trusted my work and my first book went on to become a bestseller soon after its release. I contacted him via e-mail.

Was the writing process for White Smoke different from My Love Never Faked?

A lot. My Love Never Faked was based on incidents that I had lived through, and the story is a direct narration while White Smoke is completely fictional with a third person narration.

What genre of books do you usually read? Are there any authors you look up to?

I prefer reading anything and everything that clicks with me. The last few books that I have read are Club Dead by Charlaine Harris and The Honey Trap by Thea Wolf.
Nowadays I am inspired by and reading more of Devdutt Pattanaik. I have collected his whole set of books and would like to recommend these books to my readers too.

Promotion has become an important part of publishing. How did you promote your books?

Yes, promotion now-a-days has become an integral part of publishing. Social media is now the best way to market one’s book rather than traditional methods. But the real impact in marketing is via word of mouth. Rest, the success of book is purely based on the content of the book.

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