Interview: Nihara Hareesh, Author Of Lost Words
Interview by Sana Panjwani

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I was born in India and have been a resident of the UAE for the past three years. I am an avid reader and I absolutely love traveling. I am the founder of Hyperlinks Media Agency as well as the blog Lifestyle Glossary in the UAE. I've also published two books, Relentless and Lost Words - both Amazon bestsellers. 

What led you to become an entrepreneur?

I was fired from my first job. From the beginning, I knew that I wasn't cut out for a desk job or any job that required me to do a 9-to-5 for something I wasn't passionate about. I've always been very passionate about content curation and media management so I decided to follow my gut and here I am!

Tell us about Lifestyle Glossary.

I started the blog back in 2015 in order to have a platform to share my love for travel, food and lifestyle. It's the best decision I have taken in my entire life. My blog is turning four years old soon and I cannot be more grateful to those who continue to support me and my digital journey.

What has your writing adventure been like?

Rocky at the start but now I've got the hang of it. I've been writing since the age of 12 and published my first short story in a national magazine at the age of 13. It was exciting in the beginning, but I faced a lot of rejections when I tried to publish my first book. This demotivated me and I soon gave up. Last year, though, I took a leap of faith and published my first book, Relentless. It stayed in the bestseller list on Amazon for two weeks. It was something I hadn't expected and helped me get my mojo back.

What inspired Relentless?

Relentless is a romance novel inspired by real-life events. More specifically, it was inspired by my roommate who I stayed with as a paying guest in a hostel for working women during my last year of school. Her story was tragic yet inspirational.

Is your own personality reflected in any of the characters?

Not exactly, but there are a few areas where I added personality traits of the people I love into the characters just to make the scene a bit interesting and personal.

And what is Lost Words about?

I had this tiny book where I wrote all my poems for the last few years and I had named it ‘Lost Words’ at the time. Eventually, that book turned into a tiny folder in the notes app on my phone. The name remained, and I decided to keep it for my book as well. 

It is an anthology of poems that revolve around the different stages of life, a wave of emotions – moments filled with feelings of emptiness and love. More so about words lost in the fleeting episodes we call 'life'.

What's your favourite poem from the book?

A Message to My Bullies – the poem is very personal and straight from my heart.

When did you start experimenting with poetry?

I started experimenting with poetry at the age of twelve. My first poem was written about my mother and I gifted it to her on her birthday. It made her smile and it is among the most memorable moments of my life.

What style of poetry do you prefer?

Prefer free verse and lyric and most of my poems are free verse. I have written a few ballads but never published any.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

To inspire people. I believe in the statement: “If you can inspire one person out there consider your mission accomplished.”

What kind of work are you most drawn to reading yourself?

Romance! I am big on happy endings and you can always spot me with a romance novel in hand.

Where do you find inspiration?

I draw a lot of inspiration from real life and from the people around me. Everyone has a story and over the years I have come across some inspiring ones, but to hear them you have to wait for my next book.

What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced over the years?

Sexism and racism. If I had a penny for each time someone said: “but you are a girl” or passed a rude, racist comment, I would be very rich by now. I have faced a lot of rejections in my professional life too, but I like to believe that it helped me develop a thick skin and made me work hard to reach where I am today.

And the lessons you've learnt along the way?

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to be patient and to be consistent. Consistency is the key to success.

You recently gave a TEDx Talk, what was it on?

Power in vulnerability – it's all about how one should believe in the power of rock bottom as the only way out of there is up.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a romantic novel at the moment and I am really excited about it.

And what do you hope to accomplish in the future?

I am hoping to hit the New York Times Best Seller list as an author someday, and I also plan to be more established as a businesswoman in future. Most of all, I hope to inspire people to be the best version of themselves.
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