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Snehil Niharika’s Throwback Tribute With A Contemporary Spin

‘That’ll Be Our Song’ is deeply sensitive towards the inner complex of those who hover between fantasy and reality. A glimpse from the conversation we had with its author Snehil Niharika.

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Snehil Niharika
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Outlook: We checked your Instagram, the book isn’t even out yet, and it is getting great love, especially your paintings, love letters, and songs.  

Niharika: “It was important for me that they like the characters’ appearances; it brought us on the same page. But when they loved the letters and songs, it was a surreal sort of feeling…it gave me a little more confidence that they would understand the book.” 

Have people written letters and songs for you?  

“Letters, yes. Not songs. I have written songs and letters for people, though. Not proud!” 

So all these personal secrets are embedded in Arya. How much of you is Arya? 

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“I’m not Arya. Yes, I do connect to Arya. She helped me figure out myself and channelize my own thoughts. I was in a very bad phase of my life when I was writing this book, so the character saved me.”  

One thing I personally loved about your book, it was so diverse. You talked about OCD, childhood traumas, abusive relationships, cultural differences, despite all this, you managed to keep your book very cozy and hilarious.  

“I didn’t brainstorm much, I simply looked around. People are mourning, crying, laughing, loving, shopping, working, and dealing with their traumas, all at once. Life is very diverse, I love highlighting that out.”  

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Contemporary romance is a huge section of fictional books. Why do you think romance is such a big deal in literature? 

“Particularly for me, I think it’s because love is very important, probably the most important thing in life. I think romance is often looked down upon; it’s supposed to be easy and lame. But it’s everything. So, of course, it’s a very big deal for readers as well.” 

The biggest myth about authors?  

“People think authors have a lot of free time. They asked my mother, ‘What does she do all day in her room? Give her some work.’ I work fourteen hours every day. People, in fact, even the writers, need to know this: Authors are not just writers; they are intense readers, editors, cover designers, researchers, and entrepreneurs, and along with all these, they’re obsessive dreamers and emotionally unstable human beings, with a very confused personality that changes with every book. We’re never not working.” 

The book has a personal touch to it, from cover to writing. How personal is it, actually? Is it a partial autobiography?  

“Pure fiction, but the core idea is definitely from my life. In school, I used to seek comfort in illusion; I used to escape reality and obsess over things that weren’t even a real part of my life. That’s what led me into writing.” 

I read the ARC and loved every bit of it. But the book is officially coming out this month. How much pressure is there to be accepted as an author?  

“Not too much. I mean, I’m excited and nervous, of course. But not too paranoid about it. I remember when I submitted my manuscript, I ranted out to everyone around, ‘I don’t want people to read this book; I’ll get it edited and keep it to myself.’ I wrote this book for myself originally; it was my coping. But there was one person who was very good at everything he was doing; I wanted his validation, and I was embarrassed that I wasn’t as talented as him, so he would not like my book. But then, I started getting great feedback on Instagram. I realized not everyone was gonna like my book, but not everyone was gonna not like it. Maybe the person I seek validation from won’t even read the book, but some people are gonna read it, and I should focus on them—on my readers. I gave my one hundred percent and a little extra to this book, and there’s nothing more I can give…so not too much pressure.”  

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