Nitya Neelakantan

Author Interview

Interviewed By – Sameeksha Manerkar

  1. If you were forced to live the rest of your life as one of the characters from the book, who would it be and why?

If it were any book, I’d want to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast because who doesn’t want a vast library of books to read from and have animated cutlery for company!

From my own books, I’d want to be Gauri from one of my yet to be published works because of her kindness and bravery. 

  1. What’s the most challenging part of being a romance writer? 

I find it hard to write raunchy and steamy stuff. 

It is also a challenge to get two people to fall in love in a plausible and believable way and not have it be boring. 

  1. What role do you think female characters play in empowering readers, particularly young women and girls?

Well written female characters give people in the real world the hope to be courageous, to go after their dreams, to say no when they need to, and to even walk away when things are not good. 

We need more characters that are not self-sacrificing pitiful women. 

  1. Can you discuss the importance of depicting female characters who are both strong and flawed?

A lot of times people think that their protagonist have to be impeccable and flawless. But real humans are flawed. An awareness of the flaws we have can help us navigate life without burdening other with our flaws. That in itself can turn out to be strength. 

But to also understand that strong characters can also have flaws and that’s ok, it is priceless. 

  1. What advice would you give to other female writers who want to create impactful female characters?

Write real people. Write open minded characters, write progressive characters, write characters that are vulnerable yet strong. Write characters that are unabashed to be themselves. 

  1. Are there any specific traits or qualities you tend to avoid when creating female characters?

I don’t make my characters too weepy or whiny. Apart from that all is fair in writing. I like morally grey characters, dark characters, narcissists, they all have a role to play in writing. 

  1. Can you discuss any instances where real-life women or historical figures have inspired the creation of your female characters?

Not real-life or historical. But Ma Durga and all her forms are certainly an inspiration for some of my female characters. 

  1. Can you discuss the role of female friendships and relationships in your stories?

Female friendships are like a girls lifeline. Girls need girls to vent to, to understand them in a way that men can’t. 

  1. Do you see any change or development of female characters and writers in the past 10 years? 

A lot has changed. Especially women who write women are changing the way people perceive female characters. They come across as real, lived characters not bosom heaving, lip biting, eye candy! 

  1. Lastly, What’s the one message you want to give to the woman out there?

Have the courage to love yourself the way you are and feel unabashed about who you are.


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