Harshita Nanda is an avid reader and a lover of the written word. Trained as an engineer, she settled into becoming a stay-at-home mother after relocating to Dubai. The passion for the written word, however, continued to burn. Her first novella, Xanadu: Three Souls Searching For Paradise, was published in 2021, followed by her memoir, BITS and Pieces: A Collage of My BITSian Memories, in 2022 and “Potpourri Of Drabble” ,a collection of 100 Word Stories in 2023. She was recently short-listed for the Rama Mehta Writing Grant, 2023.
Hi Harshita, congrats for being a part of the Blogchatter Thriller anthology. How you felt after writing this story? I felt very emotional as a mother and that’s why asking?
This story was not easy to write because I do not read or write thrillers very often. So once I finished the story, I did feel a surge of pride and satisfaction. I did feel the story had turned out well, but even then I was not sure that the story would be selected, so I am grateful that it was.
2.The Silver Anklet– How did this plot come to your mind? Any real-life experience encouraged you to write this story?
The only starting point for me in this story was the anklet and the room. I had no idea who the characters would be, what the story arc would be, nothing. So it just started with the anklet and a vague idea about the room.
And thankfully no real-life experience encouraged me, but I do think I was watching something on TV and had the thought, what-if?
How many days did it take you to write this story?
I think I wrote the rough draft over two days and then another two for editing and fine-tuning.
What are the elements of thriller you consider a must for every thriller story?
I do think that for a successful thriller, the atmosphere is very important. It should send a thrill or awaken senses of the reader. Also for a thriller to succeed, the element surprise is another must.
Where you love to sit and write when a plot is knitting in your mind? A special surrounding is needed to bring out the plot from mind to paper?
Rather than the surroundings, my pen and paper are more important. I hand-write all my stories, so I do need that to get the story started. I can write at my desk or dining table or balcony, but I do need my fountain pen and notebook. Plus I do need peace and quiet to write. I cannot write with music or noise.
How did writing come into your life?
Writing came quite late and accidentally in my life. Something I am grateful for each day.
Who is your favorite thriller author?
Like I said, thriller is not my preferred genre. However, I do think Kiran Manral’s More things in Heaven and Earth is a brilliant book. Another thriller that is my favourite is the Silent patient.
What are your other passions in life?
My biggest passion is of course reading. I love reading and make sure to read every day. I am usually reading two books at one time.
Another passion is embroidery. I usually have a project to keep my hands busy.
Is thriller your first love in writing or is it different? What genre of writing do you love the most and why?
No thriller is not my first love. I think my first love is romance. Even in my most serious stories, where I would be highlighting feminism, there is usually an element of romance.
How do you rate yourself as a writer?
This I think is the toughest question. I think I would give myself an 8/10. I write well, but there are many things about the craft that I am yet to learn.