7 Questions With Author Nayana Phukan | Esther Rabbit
Nayana Phukan is a software engineer, a fiction writer and the author of the bestselling novel ‘Dawn in Florence’. She was born and brought up in the beautiful green valley of North East India, Assam and she shifted to Mumbai, India, in 2011 to join an IT company after her graduation. Nayana, who has been working in the IT industry for the last nine years, has always been a bookworm and she always had a dream to write her own books.
Apart from being a writer and a software engineer, Nayana is also an avid traveler and she started her writing journey as a travel blogger in 2018. During that time, she also started to draft some small stories, apart from travel blogging, in her spare time and eventually, she developed an interest in writing fiction. She started writing her debut novel ‘Dawn in Florence’ in November 2019 and finally published it in the last week of July 2020.
‘Dawn in Florence’ is a tale of unconditional and mature love that does not follow any prejudice. This is a story of a strong and independent single mother Leena Shenoy, who fell in love in her late thirties, far away from her kids and her motherland India, in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. ‘Dawn in Florence’ is currently available worldwide on Amazon. Nayana, who currently lives in Mumbai, India, believes in enjoying every moment of life.
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What are some common stereotypes related to the genre(s) you’re writing in?
My debut novel ‘Dawn in Florence’, is a romance novel and is this genre people usually root for happily ever after, but it is not realistic all the time. Is it mandatory to have a “tragic” or a “happily ever after” ending to every love story? Some love stories remain incomplete due to social pressure and taboos but, every love story is beautiful whether it meets a destination or not. ‘Dawn in Florence’ is a tale of unconditional and mature love that is special without a ‘happily ever after’ or a ‘tragic’ ending.
What should readers expect from your next novel?
My next novel will be a thriller novel, that will enthrall readers of all ages. In my upcoming book, readers will find more suspense than romance. It will be a treat to all the thriller lovers with lots of suspense, a hinge of romance, mysterious characters and unexpected turn of events. This book revolves around a murder mystery and this story is set in the vibrant cities of Thailand.
Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
I am just one book old and to be very honest, I didn’t do much research on my debut novel. Leena and Siddharth are two fictional characters and the story of ‘Dawn in Florence’ is an outcome of my imagination. This love story is set against the beautiful backdrops of Italy and I spared no effort to describe the beauty of stunning Italy in my book.
I’ve started writing this book just after a vacation in Italy, and the young and fresh memories of that vacation, helped me describe the scenic beauty of the Italian places so vividly. My second book, which is a thriller novel and a work in progress, is also a fiction story set in Thailand. The story of my next, novel is also an outcome of my imagination and as I have been to Bangkok and Pattaya before, I didn’t have to do much research on the locations.
What were some major setbacks of this profession?
This profession is not as financially stable as a job with a fixed salary. When you work in an organization, your salary will be credited to your account irrespective of the monthly performance of your employer. But, in this profession, you will earn only if readers buy your books. For a new author, it is always better to have another stable job. But, after you reach a certain level, things become stable and then, you can consider it as a full-time profession.
What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
There is not one particular advice or feedback, but there are many beautiful feedbacks from my readers which made me ecstatically happy and emotional. Many readers have messaged and emailed me after reading ‘Dawn in Florence’, and few of them genuinely thanked me for writing the book. Such beautiful feedbacks from readers are very motivating and they are very precious for me.
Do you have any tips for authors who are looking into getting more reviews for their novels?
A good marketing strategy for an author, is to build an email list so that you have direct access to your readers. Also, prepare a list of book bloggers who like your genre and send them an email with a review request. You can also approach them on social media. If your offer is accepted, then they will read your book and post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, their website and social media platforms. Also, you can offer your book for free, for one or two days, because free books generally get more downloads and the more people read your book, the more reviews you will get.
What would you do if you wouldn’t be writing?
Apart from being a writer, I am also software engineer and an avid traveler. I have been working as an IT professional for the past nine years. So, if I am not writing, either I would be coding or travelling.
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