Welcome to our exclusive interview with Nitin Antoon, the author of “Meera of Karmana.” Nitin’s cultural background, born to an Indian mother and Dutch father, weaves a rich tapestry of experiences reflected in his writing. His novel delves into the story of Meera, a character whose journey is steeped in spirituality and self-discovery. Join us as we explore the inspiration behind his writing, his creative process, and the profound messages he hopes readers will take away from his work.

Q1. What inspired you to write “Meera of Karmana,” and how did you decide on the title?

Nitin: The inspiration behind Meera of Karmana emerged from an unexpected source. This happened during the pandemic – I was restless in my sleep – so I turned to meditation. After some time, I managed to clear my mind until I eventually drifted off. It was that night that the story of Meera unfolded in my dreams, in a hazy, indistinct manner. The story spoke to me, and when I woke up, the details were surprisingly clear. The name Meera just spoke to me, and it stuck as the main character. As for Karmana, the climax of the story is all about karma, so it just felt natural the village is named Karmana. Combining these two, I created it as the title for my book.

Q2. Can you tell us about your research process for incorporating Ayurveda and spirituality into the narrative? Did you have any personal experiences that influenced these elements?

Nitin: As the story became more real, I reached out to family and friends, and brainstormed a little on Ayurveda, spirituality, and ancient practice – without revealing my intention as a whole. This of course took place at the time of the pandemic, so I experimented a bit with Ayurveda in my day to day activities, turned to the internet for tips, and learnt a few things along the way. I consider myself quite spiritual, and that part came easier to me – I tapped into my inner peace and turned to Meditation a lot more. I meditate on a regular basis, practice yoga, and keep certain fasts – all of this resonated into smaller elements across the book.

Q3. Meera is a strong and determined character. How did you approach developing her character arc, and what message do you hope readers take away from her journey?

Nitin: Honestly, there is no one way to answer this. It was not a conscious decision to write about a female character, but once the dream was being penned down, I took inspiration from the world. I have always known, believed and seen strong women around me – and I wanted to translate that into words. There had to be some hardships and obstacles for Meera, as life is never easy, and each challenge built her character into the person we know at the end of the book. The message here would be that – no matter what life throws at you, we will always find a way to overcome hardships and struggles, we all have our Devi Latika, who – whether we know it or not – looks out for us. Trust and believe.

Q4. The relationship between Meera and Latika is central to the story. What inspired you to create this dynamic, and how do you see it impacting readers?

Nitin: I feel and believe that we all have our own guardian angels guiding us – they could be people we know, meet and interact with – or like Devi Latika, they could be in the spiritual form. Using that belief, and of course a whole lot of imagination, I tried to weave a connection between Meera and Latika. Just like there is no absolute good or evil, I left a small element of wrongdoing in Latika’s intentions, hoping to make her more relatable. This way, it would stir the reader into thinking, hoping and finding their own Latika’s in their journey of life, something like a modern day mentor-mentee relationship.

Q5. As an author, what do you hope readers will remember most about your book?

Nitin: The biggest compliment to me as an author is when readers tell me that they can practically visualize every part of the book, as if it were a movie being watched. That is exactly what my intention has been while setting the scene, especially being dyslexic. On a character level, I really hope my readers connect with even a small part of Meera’s journey – and if my book is remembered for hitting that note, I’d be grateful.

Q6. Can you share a memorable moment from your writing journey with this book?

Nitin: Informing my parents that I wrote a book is something I will never forget. My mom and I were driving, and in conversation, I informed her that I ‘want to write a book’ – and laughed it off – but her reaction was completely unexpected. She was quite impressed that I want to write, as being dyslexic reading and writing does not come naturally to us – and her reply was more on lines of ‘spell check please’! Weeks later, I walked into her living room, presented the first draft of Meera of Karmana, and for a minute there, my parents were in disbelief. My father called me a few days later, having read the draft, and beaming with pride, congratulating me, and very excited about the plot!

Q7. Are there any particular authors or books that have influenced your writing style or storytelling?

Nitin: When I started writing, I was skeptical about myself being a dyslexic author – will anyone really understand what I write as a neurodiverse person? Am I being too descriptive? Is everything making sense?

The first thing I did was research on authors who are dyslexic like me – and I stumbled upon the fact that Agatha Christie is one. This boosted my confidence in storytelling, but overall, I really have tried to be myself.

Q8. Do you have any writing rituals or habits that help you stay focused and creative?

Nitin: When I feel like I have writer’s block, clearing my mind is very important – so I turn to meditation quite a bit. Alternatively, walking my dog and simply talking to him as though he understands, just clears my mind and get the creative juices flowing.

Q9. Are there any upcoming projects or ideas you’re excited to work on next?

Nitin: If you have read the book, you would definitely want to know what happens next, and as we speak, I am working on volume II of this series. As a cloud architect and IT professional, I am working on a technical book related to IT Cloud as well – exploring my writing skills in other arenas too.

Thank you for joining us in this insightful conversation with Nitin Antoon. His journey from dream to reality, blending spirituality, and cultural heritage, offers a compelling narrative in “Meera of Karmana.” We look forward to his upcoming projects and the continuation of Meera’s story in the next volume. Stay tuned for more from this talented author as he continues to inspire readers with his unique storytelling.


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