Behind The Words with NISHA SHARMA Author Of THE LETTERS WE KEEP

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Hi Nisha! Welcome, we’re excited to have you on Reader’s Entertainment. First, tell our readers a bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Is writing your full-time job?

I’m happy to be here! I was born in New York, raised in Pennsylvania, lived most of my adult life in New Jersey, and I’ve now settled back in PA. I left my corporate position in diversity, equity and inclusion a few years ago, and now I am a full time PhD student in Literature & Social Justice, while writing YA and contemporary romance.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was a child. I used to write continuations to my favorite stories like Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries. I didn’t publish my first book until much later.

What does your typical writing day look like?

I usually write between seven AM and nine AM every morning. When I’m on deadline, I’ll write whenever I can.

Tell us about your latest release? Where the idea came from? Perhaps some fun moments, or not so fun moments?

THE LETTERS WE KEEP is a new adult romance that takes place in a fictional university in New Jersey. The idea came from my grandmother’s letters that I found when I was closing her estate after she died. It’s about the stories we leave behind in the places that mean so much to us.

One of the scenes in the story is inspired by a viral TikTok from 2022! There was a student who was in a silent battle for a study room that shared her story on the app, and I loved it so much as a potential meet-cute. That’s how our hero and heroine meet!

Could you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

Mhm. The library tower is described as a kaleidoscope room because of the stained glass ceiling. The design is modeled off a real historic university library called Linderman. Linderman Library is at Lehigh University’s campus and it’s stunning.

Who has been the most difficult character for you to write? Why?

I think Jessie’s character was the hardest to write for me because her work ethic and her commitment to her family’s dreams are so similar to my own. It was really difficult for me to separate personal beliefs from the way Jessie navigated her life as a college first year student.

If you could be one of your characters for a day which character would it be?

I would be a member of Ravi’s family because who wouldn’t like to have unlimited finances for a day?

If you could spend the day with your character, what would you do? What would that day look like?

If Jessie, Ravi and I spent the day together, we would 100% go on a foodie tour of New Jersey. We all enjoy food so much!

What’s your take on research and how do you do it?

I tend to focus on developing the characters first, and I’ll research enough to get started. Once I’ve begun the book, I’ll research as I go. If I want to incorporate business context, I’ll stop and deep dive into research at that point. If I want to incorporate information about a specific miscegenation law, I’ll research that point, too.

Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write?

So many to count! My first romance author was Nora Roberts. She used to write books in trilogies, and you can see that as a way I structure my stories. I also feel inspired by Tanuja Desai Hidier, Anjali Banerjee and many romance authors of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

None. I’m actually incredibly boring in real life. I read a lot, and that is my only special gift. Oh! And I love gardening in the summer.

Your favorite go to drink or food when the world goes crazy!

Ginger ale.

What’s next for you after THE LETTERS WE KEEP?

My next adult romance comes out in August on the 27th, and it’s a rom com called Marriage and Masti, a Twelfth Night retelling. I’m so excited to continue to tell love stories!

I have to agree, the Linderman Library is ‘stunning’!! 

Thank you so much for joining us today. Reader’s, here’s a quick look at THE LETTERS WE KEEP: