A full-time writer, Harshita Srivastava is the author of ‘One In A Million’ that got published by Mahaveer Publishers in April 2013 in her final year of Mechanical Engineering at G.L. Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management, Noida. She is an avid reader and a prolific blogger. She loves reading classics and is a diehard Mills and Boons fan. She believes that writing provides solace to her soul and that is why ditched her engineering skills for the mighty pen. She writes for a number of online platforms on a regular basis and loves interacting with people.
Apart from writing, she loves travelling, reading, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. At present, she resides in Gurgaon and works as a Content Writer with a leading e-commerce group.
1. So tell us something about you? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?
I was an introvert as a kid and would be too shy to talk to people. I didn’t have much of friends and all those I had wouldn’t know much about what I felt or how I felt. Altogether, I never felt like sharing my feelings with anyone, neither my friends nor family. I would generally be lost in one of those story books gifted to me by my grandpa and Mom and Dad. At such a point, my Mom asked me to write diary entries and that is when the revolution began. I have been writing since I was eleven and I don’t think I am ever going to stop doing that.
I am just a regular girl who finds happiness in the small little things in life. I have all the basic traits of a Taurean. Independent, stubborn, lazy, patient and down to earth. Like so many of us around, I studied engineering, mechanical to be precise but went on to take up my passion as my profession. My debut work of fiction ‘One In A Million’ released when I was in my final year of engineering and since then there has been no stopping. As of now, I work as a content writer with Ibibo Group and totally love my job. My second full-fledged novel ‘Bad Romance’ is about to release and I’m pretty much excited about it.
2. Tell us something about your college life?
Ahh! College days were indeed the best times of my life. I stayed away from home at Greater Noida, a place that is flooded with just colleges and students. I took Mechanical Engineering and hence was surrounded by males all around. In a class of 70, we were just 4 girls and it was always like hell broke loose in our batch. My college life on-campus was an experience of a lifetime for me considering the fact that I came from a convent background and had studied for ten years straight in an all-girls school. I was one of those students in class with whom teachers were always distressed. From bunking classes to being involved in the wackiest of things, I did it all there. Probably, all that made me divert from all the depression Mechanical Engineering books gave me. I just could not find an inclination towards the subject and that is when I realized that writing was my true calling, something that I was trying to ignore. Soon enough, I was back to my first love and I am quite happy with the decision I took.
3. If you could give one piece of advice to max. Number of people what would it be?
RESPECT WOMEN. DO NOT RAPE. TEACH PEOPLE NOT TO RAPE.
4. What’s the most frightened you’ve ever been?
I have survived engineering result declaration. How can I be scared of anything (devil laugh).
5. Do you remember the happiest and saddest moment of your life?
The day I signed the contract for my debut work has to be the happiest day of my life and as for the saddest moments, they come and go, I don’t give them much of an importance in my life.
6. Do you have a specific writing style?
Not exactly but I try to keep everything slow and subtle when I put down my thoughts in words. My writing style changes a lot with the kind of genres I work on.
7. “Bad Romance”! How did you come up with the title?
I am too bad at finalizing the titles but while I was reading this book, one day all of a sudden, I woke up with this title in my mind and decided that this was it.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I grew up reading a lot of classics so the first author who left a deep impact on me was Charles Dickens. Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, all of them have amused me since childhood and I don’t even think for a second before picking them up even now. I simply love the way he develops his characters and builds an interesting plot around them.
9. Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?
I am a content writer so I write almost 10-12 hours a day although out of these, around 8 hours are dedicated to my office work. When it comes to creative writing, I try to write regularly but there are days when the thoughts don’t just come to me. On such days, I give reading a lot more time and treat myself with anti-depressants in the form of chocolates and brownies. I write anywhere and everywhere, from a small sheet of paper lying somewhere to laptop or phone. While I do a lot of writing on MS Word, I don’t let go off my habit of writing on paper. I have always maintained a diary that has all my relevant and irrelevant writings.
10. Any writing rituals?
None, as such. I write whenever I feel like. Though yes, when it’s a writing project I do work as per deadlines.
11. Ballpoint, uniball or fountain pen?
Nothing specifically. Ballpoint, most of the time because that’s what I generally have in my bag. Fountain pen when I am exceptionally happy.
12. What’s more important: characters or plot?
Both of them are as important but at times, even if your story is a simple, it’s the character sketch and presentation of the whole tale that makes a lot of difference.
13. How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in fiction writing?
It is quite a tough call. You have to constantly work towards perfection, you have to learn to face the criticism, the good ones and the bad ones. A lot of people will de-motivate you, misguide you but if you are lucky, you’ll also get some really wonderful people who will always be there to help you rise and shine. Try to learn from every person you meet. It’s upto you how you take it and deal with it. After all, in the end, survival of the fittest is what matters.
14. Any last thoughts for our readers?
Thank you for reading my work and constantly motivating me for every sane and insane stuff I wrote. Your support means a lot to me. Stay blessed!