By Neha Singh Riyal:
Life or destiny as one might say has different plans for each one of us. I was always interested in sports or playing games. I was an average student, but I loved sports, even if it meant being a spectator. I loved computers, so I thought of pursuing information technology. However, I enrolled for a Bachelors in Biotechnology and from there, I went on to complete masters and doctorate in Biotechnology.
For the longest time I wanted to be associated with an NGO or do something for the welfare of those who face atrocities, with more concern for children. I finally created a page on Facebook for child abuse awareness. I wrote poems, articles and even tried my hand at creating a video on child abuse awareness. I like to believe in chain reaction, and that could be the scientist in me talking. Even if a single person gets some benefit from what I have written, then it could set of a reaction or cause a ripple effect. The writing part helped me maintain my sanity during PhD. Like I said earlier, life or destiny has different plans for each one of us. In all my life, I never thought I would become a writer.
After submitting my thesis, I had a brief period of free time. By then I had written a few poems and articles which got appreciation from my family and friends. I started off with a short story, as many people had encouraged me that I had the knack for storytelling. Thus, began my journey towards being a writer. What started off a short story turned out to be bit more. I started writing diligently. I loved every moment of it. The thoughts kept coming and I kept on writing. It took me around five months to finish the novel. In between, I cleared my PhD degree, did bit of freelance editing and enjoyed a long break with my family. The day after I finished my novel I got an interview call for a job in a company where I am currently working. In the meantime, I asked my sisters and friends to read the manuscript and give their feedback. Everybody was very positive about the book and it gave me a good feeling. I was very busy with work and didn’t know when I would actually get the book published.
At this point of time a friend suggested approaching a publishing house. It was god sent for me. This self-publishing house provides the opportunity for writers to run a campaign called ‘Booksfundr’ for their books. The book that meets the pre-order goal is published by them for free. Well, my book met the pre-order goal (thank you again to all those who pre-ordered).
After all this you might think it was easy. But, then began the most difficult part of copy editing, cover design selection, proof reading and of course the second thoughts that would creep in about the story from time to time. One thing I was sure of from the beginning was the title of the book. “This can’t be happening!” has happened to me and is now available worldwide at various online portals. I am often asked if it is my story. I am asked about the various characters. Even my parents have questioned me about it. I think we all have stories to tell. I think we all have had experiences worth sharing. I am not a literary maestro but I write straight from the heart. My writing is simple but my wish is that my stories reach as many people as possible. You never know how your story might impact a person.