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Nitya Ravi is based in Dubai and used to work in the technology industry. She is the author of What the Eyes see – a collection of dark stories which was published in 2019 and garnered positive reviews from readers and reviewers alike. Times of India reviewed the book as Freshly baked best dark stories of 2019. The Woman Within is her first novel

1. How did you become a writer?

I was interested in storytelling since I was a kid and loved making up stories and getting my friends to enact the same. With time I started writing short stories and even plays for college functions. It was just a matter of time that I sat down and wrote a book which I did almost 10 years back. That novel is still unpublished. Then in 2019 I published my book of short stories.

2. Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Writing can be an emotionally fulfilling experience if it is something that you enjoy doing. I feel completely in control and at peace when I write. What is emotionally draining and stressful is marketing your book especially when you are a new author.

To aspiring writers, all I have to say is just do the deed first. Write down that story that’s bursting in your head to be shown to the world. The rest comes later.

3. Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?

No, it isn’t. I would love for it to be my full-time career but I believe being a new author, it will take some time until I can just write to pay my bills.

4. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Good narration, believable characters and dialogues

5. What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I usually try to write in mornings after having my breakfast and sending my kids to school and incase I cannot, I write in the evenings.

6. How did you develop the plot and characters of this book?

What I had was an amazing idea for a psychological thriller with a great suspense. I call them the seeds with which I started writing. Once I started writing and watering it with my imagination, the rest of the plot and characters developed on its own.

7. What characters in your book are most similar to you or to people you know?

The characters in my book are an amalgamation of people I know, my imagination and of people I have read or heard about.

8. Writers also tend to be avid readers. What type of book do you like to read for pleasure?

There was a time I used to read romance and general fiction and non-fiction. But for the past many years I have been mostly into sci-fi, thrillers and sometimes fantasy books.

9. How much ‘world building’ take place before you wrote ‘The Woman Within?

There was not much of world building for this book. It is set in Bangalore and Kottayam.

10. How do you do research for your books?

I rely a lot on what I read in books and on the net and even talk to people who can help me with certain topics.