Neha Sharma has just published her debut novel, Wedding Pickle, a modern-day story in which she has effortlessly combined romance and humour to create an excellent read. She hails from Bengaluru and was born in New Delhi. She is an avid reader and since childhood, has always preferred books over people. She holds a Masters degree in HR and International Business and moved to Norway in 2010 after her wedding.
Inspired by the winters of Norway, she started writing short-stories and loved slipping into the world of imagination and giving life to characters. With Wedding Pickle, Neha Sharma has turned to full-length novel writing and is already working on her second project. She is also a trained classical singer. Neha is a die-hard Harry Potter fan and considers J.K. Rowling to be the inspiration behind her writing.
In this interview, she talks about herself, her writing, and about the theme of her latest book – Marriage.
|bookGeeks:||Tell us something about Neha as a person.|
|Neha:||I am an avid reader. I have always read books from different genres since I was a child; loved books more than people. So in a way, one can call me an introvert who loves living in her own world. Only recently have I started to pen them down onto the paper. I can be quite a scatterbrain at times. It comes from me being a Librarian. We are more of an imbalanced beam.|
|bookGeeks:||Your book Wedding Pickle is out in the market. Can you shed some light on it?|
|Neha:||It’s mostly about the wedding jitters one goes through before getting married. I think most of us, at some point in our life, go through the same. I wanted to share a story of a girl going through her fears and inhibitions regarding marriage.|
I also wanted to shed light on the deeper meaning of marriage in a lighter way, which so many of us have lost along the way.
|bookGeeks:||We cannot help but notice the uncanny similarities between the protagonist Avni and yourself. Is the book to some extent, autobiographical? If so, which are the other characters that take Inspiration from real life?|
|Neha:||Even though I have had an arranged marriage, it’s not based on my life. Avni is a mix of a little of what I went through, a little of what people around me went through and yes, a lot of imagination too went into sketching her out. The rest of the characters are purely fictional.|
|bookGeeks:||What according to you is the biggest reason that makes modern girls apprehensive of marriage?|
|Neha:||Like Avni, most of us feel we would lose our sense of self if married. Self-esteem is something that none of us would want to hamper in any way.|
|bookGeeks:||What are your other interests apart from writing?|
|Neha:||I am a trained classical singer, so music is my first love and then books. I also love travelling, exploring every city and unearthing its history.|
|bookGeeks:||How does a modern woman strike a perfect balance between personal and professional life? Do you have some tips to share with our readers?|
|Neha:||I am still figuring it out. It’s not an easy feat to manage house, kids and work. One really needs to meditate and maintain their sanity through it all. Jokes apart, I think it’s really important to have a partner who feels it’s his responsibility as well to share the load equally. We all need to just take a break every now and then to rewind.|
|bookGeeks:||Who is your favourite romance author and which is that romance book (apart from the Wedding Pickle, of course) that you would like to recommend to your readers?|
|Neha:||The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. The story just takes your breath away.|
|bookGeeks:||Which Bollywood actress would you like to cast in the role of Avni if your book is ever made into a movie?|
|Neha:||Hmm, that’s an interesting one. I think Alia Bhatt. She can slip into any character so effortlessly. I think she would make a perfect Avni.|
|bookGeeks:||As an author, what is that one goal that you will always strive to achieve?|
|Neha:||All an artist wants is to reach out to at least one person with whom our work resonates. In my case, a book. A reader should smile when thinking about it. If I can do that to even one person out there I have achieved what I want.|
|bookGeeks:||Who has been the biggest inspiration in your journey as an author?|
|Neha:||Hands down it is J.K Rowling. I am an unabashed fan of Harry Potter and more so Rowling's writing style. I have read her since I was in the 7th grade. Through her books, she let me believe we can slip into a world of magic whenever the real one gets too overbearing.|
|bookGeeks:||Any new writing project that you are currently working on?|
|Neha:||Yes, I am. I have had it on my mind for a long time now. I'm still sketching out the details so it’s still very new.|
|bookGeeks:||A few words for your readers.|
|Neha:||I hope you enjoy reading Wedding Pickle. I hope it makes you laugh and sigh and I hope it tugs at your heart from time to time.|
Wedding Pickle is not a twisted, stormy, complex book; it’s a simple book about a simple girl, which aims to leave you with a warm feeling inside once you read it.