Dr. Sheetal Nair is an Author, Writer & Storyteller, and Corporate Head of DSS Group of Companies. Dr. Nair’s previous book “The Midas Touch” declared “Best Seller” on the Amazon, His recent book “The Monk’s Secret” is also gaining a lot of traction having sold more than 2000 books in the first week itself.
Our journalist had an exclusive conversation Dr. Sheetal Nair on some of the points:
Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: I’ve always loved reading, Being a single child, books were the perfect companion for me. One day while browsing in the library I got hold of “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens, the book had a huge impact on me, the protagonist’s struggle & his relationships helped me understand how to navigate life. The impact this book published around 130+ years before my Birth on me, I realised the power of words, that was the day that I decided to start writing because I too wanted to affect people with my pen the way Dickens did.
Q. How long does it take you to write a book?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: Honestly, there is no fixed time or system which can put across something as abstract as writing. But with Non-Fiction you have a finite timeline, with the research backing it up, while fiction takes more time. I have 33 unfinished fiction books which I started but couldn’t complete whilst Non fiction usually takes me around 3 to 4 months to research & write.
Q. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: Writing or not I have a pretty much simple schedule, I wake up at 0445, start working out at 5, sit down to read & write at 0630 & push off to work at 0815. I keep myself busy with work till 1500 Hours & post that I start relaxing my workload. I get home around 1800 Hours & start playing my musical instruments, this is followed by another round of reading & writing at 1930 Hours & I hit the snooze button at 2100 Hours.
Q. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: A writer needs to be a voracious reader & as a reader I have admired those writers who are able to draw a parallel with other famous writers or thinkers. This is one quirk which I too have while I write, I make sure that I either improve upon or share my opinion on the work or theories propounded by writers whom I admire.
Q. How do books get published?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: Well, it’s a lengthy process which involves you sending the manuscript or synopsis of your work with a few chapters to the publishers & wait for them to reach out. I usually target those publishers who I feel haven’t published the genre or the topic I am targeting or the niche audience who may like my work, social media penetration too works to the advantage. Usually, all major publishers check the visibility of the author on social media as an added advantage to the content shared.
Q. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: Day to day experiences, I usually channelise on what is happening around me or affecting people in general. Like my first book, “The Midas Touch” was written when I realised the trainers today had lost the meaning of real leadership, they kept harping about concepts which didn’t really gel with the current situation. My second book was a result of the Pandemic & the number of suicides or mental health issues afflicting people, I felt we as a race should focus on the positives & change our perspective.
Q. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: I started writing for an esteemed publication when I was a teenager, it was short stories and stuff, while my first full publication came out in 2020 at the age of 34.
Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: I love to read, watch old classic movies. Being a foodie & owning a chain of cafes means I love to gorge on food & also experiment with different kinds of cooking, but its music which sets me free, love to play the ukulele when I get the time.
Q. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: First start reading books of those authors whom you admire the most. This will help you understand what genre interest you the most & post that start writing. Also, remember to keep a log of your thoughts. This will help you incorporate them later when you actually start writing.
Q. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: Well as a reader I always felt that I would have loved the opportunity to reach out to the authors, so yes, I am easily accessible to my readers. I try to incorporate whatever their feedback in my work too, like for my first book a lot of my readers had shared that they wanted to read more about my practical experiences in the book, which I agreed to & ensured that I incorporate the same in my next book.
Q. Do you like to create books for adults?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: Even though I would love to reach out to kids but as of now I have created books only for adults & in the near future too I may continue to do so.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: ‘He lived happily ever after’ is not a story idea that is going to have readers clawing for a copy of your book. It also is highly unlikely this would sustain an entire novel. ‘He thought that he lived happily ever after, but his girl left him on the altar’ is a story scenario with much more dramatic potential (this could be a scene from Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller). Once you’ve found the resulting actions and the eventual outcome that develops out of your primary story scenario, you have a story idea. This will always work for a fiction book, for a non-fiction book the idea that will always work well is that simplification of a complex idea so that even a layman will be able to grab the idea perfectly.
Q. Any of yours new book is coming?
Dr. Sheetal Nair: Yes, working on my next one “The Gods of Business”, it should be out by the end of this year.
Q. Anything you want to add from your side on your books…
Dr. Sheetal Nair: My books are the reflection of my thoughts & perspectives which have been formed due to my experiences. The best part about them is that even though it’s a non-fiction work you shall feel that it’s like a story being narrated in first person with live examples for you to read, understand & implement.
(Dr. Sheetal Nair’s Book “The Midas Touch” declared Best Seller on the Amazon)