Here are the three books that contributed, in one way or another, to the creation of my novel Next 9.

Purists might frown at seeing such a mish mash of different titles bundled up in the same post. But I hope you’ll be curious enough to read on and understand how such different works have ended up here. I have listed them chronologically, in the order in which I read them.


1. The solitude of prime numbers by Paolo Giordano


A novel that was equally acclaimed and criticised. When I read the pages of “The solitude of prime numbers” I was enthralled. I enjoyed it immensely. It’s the story of two characters, tormented by physical and psychological pain who go through childhood, adolescence and adulthood in a painful, and sometimes alienating way. This goes against the trend of typical, perfect, and unrelatable heroes that are so fashionable in novels these days. The Solitude of Prime numbers is a story full of beauty and anguish. It can be a tough read, and I would especially recommend it to those of you who like to reflect on life after finishing a novel.


How did The solitude of prime numbers contribute to the narration of Next 9?

A love that is never fully revealed, the characters’ loneliness, and their poor life choices partly inspired my own characters in Next 9.


2. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James 


Alright, I’ll admit it: I too fell for this trilogy’s aggressive marketing campaign. When I was stuck at home for a period of time, I started reading a bit of everything. I was introduced to the erotic romance genre through the books of E. L. James. Make no mistake: my book doesn’t explore BDSM relationships, and none of my characters could be described as an innocent girl who marries a millionaire. What got me thinking wasn’t the story itself, but the story behind the writer. Having finished the trilogy, I wondered how a book of the sort, written in a questionable style, had become such a success. After digging a bit, I came across an interview with the writer: Erika Leonard (a.k.a E.L James), a wife and mother of two, started writing for fun after following Twilight fan fiction online. Her story kept growing and developed a structure of its own, and so she decided to publish the book. The series’ worldwide success came about by pure chance.


How did 50 Shades of Grey help me publish Next 9?

Reading the trilogy, I thought:  if this kind of book, with such an obvious storylinecan make it, my own novel might stand a chance too.


3. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg


I strongly recommend this hilarious, educational and well-written book where Aziz aims to create a concentrate of what love looks like in the modern age. Those who know me will be aware that I have been with my husband since I was 19, and so, I have very little first hand experience of being single. While I was writing Next 9, I decided that my friends’ anecdotes (read here to know more) weren’t enough to go on, and that I needed some serious info on the subject. I read Modern Romance because it was just that: an account of life as a singleton in search of love in this day and age. Aziz, who is a comedy superstar in the US, has built some of his best routines around that theme. A few years later, he decided to take the theme to the next level and write a book.


How did Modern Romance contribute to the characters in Next 9?

It helped me get a sense of life in the age of Tinder and Lovoo, and understand the main issues faced by young singletons, and why more and more people end up alone.



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