Nihar is an award-winning writer of inspirational stories based on issues of international import. Having already published 2 books at age 20, he himself is an inspiration. He graduated cum laude from Cornell University and lives in Boston. Welcome, Nihar!
Tell us a little about yourself. I was born in Lewistown, PA, USA. Recently I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Applied Economics and Management. I have one older brother and one older sister.
All of the writing that I pursue is positive/inspirational in some capacity. Some of my favorite activities include playing tennis and playing the tabla (Indian version of the drums).
What is the title and genre of your book, and who published it? My latest book is The Corridor of Uncertainty: How Cricket Mended a Torn Nation. It was published by Pitch Publishing in the UK and falls into the genres of sports and narrative non-fiction. The interesting thing about the book is that readers do not need to know anything about sports to be able to enjoy it.
Tell us a little about your book. It chronicles the miraculous journey of the Afghan cricket team from living in refugee camps to qualifying for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. In the process, the team had to overcome danger, criticism, and political unrest.
It’s an absolutely riveting story. The main moral is about how everything is not what it seems. The media portrays Afghanistan as a very negative and violent place. However, there is also an extremely inspiring cricket team there that not many people know about. This cricket team is changing the entire country for the better.
What inspired you to write it? My inspiration for writing The Corridor of Uncertainty came when I was in Australia around January 2014 with my family for holiday. One day, I noticed a random clipping in the local newspaper about the Afghan cricket team. My first reaction was, “Afghanistan has a cricket team?!”
I thought it could make a very interesting topic, and I was actually looking for something “out of the box” to write during that moment in time. I researched the story further and found that it broke countless religious, political, and even social barriers. It was perfect.
When did you first start writing? I first began writing in late 2012. It was kind of an accident. I was just looking for an effective way to get some positive vibes out there in the world. I don’t know why, but the first idea that came to my mind was to write a book. So, I sat down at my computer and just wrote whatever was on my mind whenever I could.
I must admit that I was in college at the time – and I hated academic writing. For some reason though, I really enjoyed being able to write freely on my own. Maybe I liked it because there were no guidelines or restrictions on what I ultimately could write.
What authors have most influenced you? How and why? Michael Lewis is one author who has greatly influenced me. He has a knack for writing extremely captivating narrative non-fiction stories. He made stories on football (The Blind Side) and the 2008 financial crisis in the United States (The Big Short) seem very interesting and appealing to even people who had no interest in those topics. Another author who has influenced me is Peter Drucker. I find his work to be very inspiring and motivating.
What book first touched you deeply? One of the first books I remember reading that touched me deeply was Peak by Roland Smith. It was about a selfish kid who was going to set the world record for climbing Mt. Everest. However, he ultimately gave up that dream so that he could help someone else escape poverty. As a 5th grader at the time, I think the book provided me with a great lesson on how helping others is worth more than accomplishing selfish goals.
What genres do you like to read? I love to read books from the mystery, action, sports, and narrative non-fiction genres.
How do these books affect your writing? Reading narrative non-fiction books, of course, allows me to analyze several different styles of the writing in the genre which I myself write. It allows me to see what has worked well for other authors and maybe what hasn’t worked so well.
On the other hand, reading mystery books affects my own writing in a creative sense. Mystery books have so many clever twists and turns, and I love taking some of the creativity from these books and incorporating it into my own writing.
Where do you like to write? Why? I just like to write at my desk on my laptop. I find that sitting at a desk helps me focus in the best way possible. While writing, I also love to listen to some sort of music or instrumental tracks. Music always impacts me positively.
What time of day do you like to write. Why? Some people call me crazy, but I enjoy writing the most in the early mornings. I try to wake up at 5:37am and write for an hour or two before I get started with the rest of my day. I find that there are virtually no distractions in the mornings, because mostly everybody I know is still sleeping!
In what genres do you write? I write mostly in the self-help and narrative non-fiction genres.
E-book or paper ~ do you have a preference? I prefer paper. I’m not against reading e-books, but I would rather minimize my time of looking at screens if possible. I also don’t think there is anything that can replace holding an actual book and turning the actual pages on it.
How and where have you marketed your work? I have marketed my work in many ways. First and foremost, I am active on all forms of social media. I run book giveaways on Goodreads. Right now, I am currently on a book tour for the release of The Corridor of Uncertainty. I also pitch any relevant work I have to radio shows and print media, which has worked successfully many times. These are just a few of the ways in which I market my work.
Do you have other publishing credits? Yes, I have also published a book in 2013 titled Win No Matter What: A Guide to Hyping Up Your Life. That book is made up of a compilation of inspirational stories with lessons on how we can improve our mood, attitude, and the perception of others.
What is your current writing project? Currently, I don’t have a new writing project in mind. I’m solely focused on promoting The Corridor of Uncertainty, since the book just released. However, I’m sure I’ll come up with a new project very soon.
If you have a blog, what subjects do write about? I have a personal blog where I write mostly about inspirational stories or my deep, philosophical thoughts. I’m sure anybody who reads it will be inspired while also being forced to think about the most pressing questions of life and the world around us.
What advice would you give a new writer? I would tell a new writer to never give up. I know the hardest part of completing a book is just staying motivated throughout the entire writing process – especially when there is nobody pushing you to complete it in the first place. Find a great way to stay motivated, and write whenever you can. Regardless of what challenges you face (there will be many), keep going and never give up.
What do you wish to say to your readers? To my readers out there, thanks for all the support that you have provided over the last several years. I am a very young author, but all the praise and feedback that I have received from you has turned me into a very passionate writer. I’m sure I’ll continue to write for quite a while into the future!