Interview with Namrata (Founder- Keemiya Creatives)

Namrata founded Keemiya Creatives in 2018 with the idea of making publishing accessible to writers.

We offer both pre-publishing and post-publishing support to writers that include editing, beta-reading to online book marketing. Our services include Amazon marketing and customized social media marketing. We offer offline marketing only in select cities. You can write to us at to know more.

Recently, Namrata was featured on – an online resource for those who love books and reading. The questions ranged from writing (Namrata is a published author with multiple short stories in various anthologies along with 4 solo titles to her credit.), reading and of course the various literary communities Namrata is a part of.

This is what she said about Keemiya Creatives in the interview:

I started Keemiya Creatives in 2018 because I realized that there is a huge gap between authors and publishing in India. A gap where sometimes misunderstanding creeps in and leaves you with a bad taste.

When an author wants to publish a book, it is common for them to not know where to start. Publishing in India is not exactly as transparent as it should be. And it is easy to feel lost while looking to get published. My aim with Keemiya is to make the whole process accessible, transparent, and easy to go through.

I have been working with authors and publishing houses since 2014 in various capacities ranging from editing, book marketing, beta-reading and social media marketing. With Keemiya, I took a step forward and also added author branding and publishing to this. If there is anything a writer needs, that I might not have on my list of services, I always ensure they have a few references of people who offer these services. Being in this industry also means knowing people who offer different services. Highlighting them and their services is my way of saying that the writer can rely on them.

Memorable wins? The first has to be of an author who was a retired gentleman trying to publish his collection of stories for almost six years with no luck. We designed his pitch (including a cover letter and synopsis) after which he got a traditional publishing offer from a reputed publishing house. He has gone on to publish four titles so far, all traditional and all bestsellers.

The second has to be an author who was getting published in English after having been a bestselling writer in Hindi for more than a decade. We managed all branding across social media platforms which resulted in the book being a bestseller for close to 12 weeks. The book is currently in its third print run.

I need to add here, we are not limited to India. We also work with authors from across the globe and in varied genres. So far, we have worked on children’s books, poetry collections, historical fiction, anthologies, contemporary fiction, romance, horror, memoirs, and motivational books with authors from seven countries and three continents.

You can read the full interview HERE.

Irrespective of what stage of writing you are in, #TeamKeemiya will always be there to support you, help you and guide you through your journey of becoming a published writer. Reach out to us through any of our SM handles, write an email or simply comment on this post to connect with us.

Announcement: Publishing Workshop 101

We are excited to announce our online workshop on Publishing happening in January 2023 in collaboration with Purple Pencil Project.

As announced in the previous post, this workshop will be led by Namrata, Founder of Keemiya Creatives.

Namrata is a board member at Purple Pencil Project apart from being a freelance writer and editor. A published author, she enjoys writing stories and think-pieces on travel, relationships, and gender. She is a UEA alumnus and has studied travel writing at the University of Sydney.

She is also an independent managing editor and a book reviewer. Her writings and essays on literary criticism can be found on various sites and magazines like the Asian Review of Books, Contemporary South Asia Journal of King’s College-London, Mad in Asia, The Friday Times, Daily Star, The Scroll, Feminism in India, The Brown Orient Journal, Kitaab, Inkspire Journal, Moonlight Journal, The Same, Chronic Pain India and Cafe Dissensus.

Since 2019, Namrata has also been closely working with publishing houses and authors on book promotions, writing mentorships, beta reading, and much more.

If you or someone you know is looking for guidance on how to get published, this workshop will have all the answers.

 The workshop will teach you how to:

1. Pitch Your Book
2. Choose the right path for publishing
3. Choose the right publisher
4. Know what to expect from your publisher
5. Understand your rights as an author

The hour-long workshop will be followed by one hour of AMA (Ask Me Anything) which will answer specific queries that you may have, no matter the stage of the publishing journey you are on.


  • Date: Saturday, January 7, 2023
  • Timings: 4:30 pm to 6: 30 pm IST, Online
  • Cost: Rs. 750, to be paid online
  • Age: 18+

How to sign up

1. Fill out the Google Form:
2. After you sign up, a UPI ID will be shared for payment.
3. Once you send a screenshot of the payment made, the Zoom invitation will be sent to you.

For questions and doubts, please write to

Of Books, Writing, Editing and Publishing

Last weekend, I was invited by the Himalayan Writing Retreat for a session on Editing for Writers with the First Draft Club. It was a panel discussion with another wonderful freelancing editor, Ganesh Vancheeswaran.

We talked about the role of editing, and why it is important for a writer (irrespective of the type of publishing you choose to go ahead with). We also discussed the pet peeves of an editor and tips for all aspiring writers.

First things first. I worked with Himalayan Writing Retreat for close to three years till October 2022. Among many other initiatives I worked on during my stint with HWR, the First Draft Club was one of those. The idea behind FDC was to bring together writers and industry specialists from the literary world to discuss Writing and Publishing in India at large.

For starters, it was a great feeling to be back at FDC and that too as a guest. It felt wonderful to be at the other end of the table and be asked questions, rather than be the one who asked questions.

Talking about editing, publishing, and writing is something that excites me a lot. I have been freelancing since 2014 and have been a part of this industry since 2011. I have observed it closely enough to be able to comment on the changing trends amongst many other things.

I will share the link to the session once it is live on HWR’s YouTube channel. But sharing a few things which I feel all writers should keep in mind while working on their books.

  1. Don’t think in any language other than English while writing in English. The literal translation done in your mind shows in the writing.
  2. Read. A lot. Read everything. Read outside your genre. Read within your genre. Read classics. Read trash. Read as much as you can for that is what helps you improve your writing.
  3. Be patient. With the process of writing and editing. Bestsellers are not made overnight. Your book is a product of love. Nurture it with patience and hard work.
  4. Work with editors, sensitivity readers, and beta-readers with whom you connect. To bring the best out of your book you need people who understand the core essence of the book.
  5. Be open to criticism and feedback. If you do not take it from the editors or beta readers, you will receive it from the reviewers/readers once the book is released.

I am currently working on hosting a workshop on Publishing in India. Will share the details soon.

If you are a literary community that would me to talk about Editing and Publishing in India or host a workshop, please get in touch at

New Release: Of Giants and Windmills – An Autobiography by Moosa Raza

Niyogi Books announces the publication of Of Giants and Windmills, an autobiography by former IAS officer Moosa Raza which also includes his first-hand account of the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition, in his capacity as Advisor to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh

For the author, writing this book was not only a jog down memory lane but a deep desire to highlight some of the personalities who impressed him and also was an opportunity to talk about some others who thought of themselves as giants but turned out to be only windmills, or rather windbags, on closer acquaintance. From the teachers who left a formative impression on him to the events that left a formative impression on our country’s socio-political fabric, from finding innovative solutions to issues faced by public servants to being blindsided by the innovative tricks of cunning criminals, Moosa Raza’s autobiography is an excavation of memories from a life spent in trying to maintain social order in a chaotic and unpredictable country.

Moosa Raza, the author of the book, says, ‘Looking back on my IAS career, I realise that the early officers in the service of independent India, had a unique experience. We were following in the footsteps of our British predecessors while trying to forge a new identity for the administration. Like Don Quixote, who was the inspiration for my autobiography, I encountered many giants, those who laid the foundation for an emerging nation and tilted at many windmills, who even today are dotted throughout our landscape, blocking out the sun of our nation’s success. This book is my homage to all the IAS officers like me, who might find themselves in the pages of my autobiography.’ 

On publishing the book Trisha De Niyogi, Director and COO, of Niyogi Books, says, ‘This is a significant work and is so much more than simply the memoirs of an IAS officer. Mr. Moosa Raza, in his long career, has dealt with famine, smugglers, riots, the Emergency, and the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Readers will find much thought-provoking material in this book, which provides many insights into the challenges and promises of modern India.’ 


During the early decades post India’s independence, Moosa Raza, a young IAS officer hailing from a small village in Tamil Nadu, was tasked with governing huge, diverse, and complex territories in the newly formed state of Gujarat. Raza had the distinction of heading four districts (today’s seven) as district magistrate and collector in Gujarat and rose to become principal secretary to the chief minister of Gujarat.

This book is an elaborately layered account of Raza’s experiences and encounters with maharajas, politicians, tribals, tigers, and a variety of other inhabitants of the country. With tongue-in-cheek humour, Raza details his head-on collisions with public figures, gold smugglers, and bureaucrats, and his attempts to deal with them with tact while trying to hold his own. Raza describes well-known figures, including C.V. Raman, Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi, and others, with a lot of wit, honesty, and empathy—they live again on these pages.

Drawing on his experiences in the Indian public sector, Raza throws light on the workings of varied industries, such as fisheries, textiles, chemicals, and fertilizers. His first-hand account of the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition, in his capacity as Advisor to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, reveals the travails of maintaining social order in a chaotic and unpredictable country.

Price: INR 650 / Format: Hardback / Pages: 304


Moosa Raza was born and brought up in a village in Tamil Nadu that had no electricity, no running water, no flush system, and no doors to any house. During the first nine years of his life, he did not know the English alphabet and only learnt rudimentary Urdu. Today he writes poetry in English, Hindi, Urdu, Persian, and Arabic. He has already published five books, including two collections of Urdu poems.

An IAS officer of the 1960 cadre, he rose to become a chief secretary of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and secretary to the Government of India. After retirement, he heads a large educational trust with 10,000 students, and 600 academic and managerial staff and is the chairman of several private-sector enterprises in Mumbai. He continues to work and write even in his 80s and is deeply committed to the affairs of the nation.


An internationally acclaimed publishing house, Niyogi Books, established in 2004, has more than 500 titles today. We not only specialize in textual context but also strive to give equal importance to visuals. We purvey a wide range of content on art, architecture, history, culture, spirituality, memoirs, and every aspect, which connects with our rich heritage. Under our umbrella, we have fiction and non-fiction that cover books on social science, cookery, and self-help as well as English Translations of modern classics from different Indian languages. Niyogi Books has recently launched four new Imprints: Olive Turtle (English fiction), Thornbird (English Translation), Paper Missile (English non-fiction), and Bahuvachan (Hindi Translation: Fiction & Non-Fiction). Also, we have co-published a number of critically acclaimed books with reputed institutions like the British Library, Rietberg Museum Zurich, IGNCA, National Gallery of Modern Art, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India), National Manuscript Mission, Sahitya Akademi, among many others.

Author Confessions: 10 things I wish I knew about being an author that I don’t know as a blogger by Namrata

I started blogging in 2011 and eventually got published in 2013. It was a short story that had been chosen for an anthology by a reputed publishing house. It kind of felt surreal in many ways as till then I was writing only for myself. This published story gave me a sneak peek of the audiences that were out there, who would love to read what I wrote. It was thrilling, scary, and at the same time exciting.

In a brief span of a year, I got published in 11 anthologies and the high it gave me was unbelievable. What it also gave me, was the dream of writing my book. By early 2015 I was neck deep into my preps for working on a book.

And that is when the reality stuck hard! Writing a book is not as easy as it seems. I suddenly found myself struggling on many fronts. I did next what I felt was the right step- I started attending a lot of writing workshops and courses, read about writing, and tried to hone my skills.

The lessons I learnt were important ones that we often tend to overlook. They have helped me improve as a writer and continue to do so. Sharing some of them with you:

  • Writing a full-length novel is no mean feat – Having been a blogger for 10 years where I used to write fiction I was used to trying my hand at different styles like micro fiction, flash fiction, 55 fiction, and short stories. Somewhere in those attempts I started enjoying writing fiction and concluded it would be easy to write a book as well. To be honest how much could you tell in those few words hence a lot was left to the imagination/ understanding of the reader. While for a novel you need to write at least 50000 words and ensure a reader’s attention is held till the last word is no mean feat!
  • Flawless language is imperative– When you write a blog post rarely you have anyone come up with comments that highlight the flaws in terms of grammar, spelling, tenses, or maybe glaring mistakes in the plot but in the book the feedback does have such features. It could be maybe because they pay for your book and hence expect value for money while a blog is free to read. It isn’t that while writing blogs I was never cautious about such mistakes but whenever they happened inadvertently they were easily overlooked. While in a book a simple typo by a publisher in the name of the chapter leads to a detailed discussion.
  • The importance of the ‘published’ tag – Being a famous blogger might not make heads turn but being a published author surely does. The tag of “published” comes at a price where now even strangers want to become friends and strangely sometimes friends turn foes. I have experienced that very closely. The blogger fraternity doesn’t feel threatened by another blogger’s success as they all believe they have their own niches. But the moment you become an author who has published the algorithm changes with people feeling skeptical about your skills and if you really deserve all that you are getting. The published tag does make a lot of difference as the overall perception of people around you changes drastically.
  • Reviews and their role– As a reviewer/ blogger I love reading books and writing very honest reviews. I never took the liberty of bashing authors even before I become one because I believed there is nothing called a bad book. But after becoming an author I have realized how one single review can make or mar a book. Perhaps as a reviewer, we don’t realize the impact our words can create. Every time you hold a book in your hand you are holding months or maybe years of hard work, sleepless nights, and aspirations of someone. Whether it is good or bad is completely a different argument altogether. The very fact that it is someone’s blood and sweat (in some cases tears too!) needs to be respected. Having said that I am not averse to criticism. We all need some, but a constructive one that helps an author grow.
  • Dealing with Marketing / Promotions – As a blogger, it is very easy to promote blogs. But as an author promoting a book needs real hard work. Moreso, blogs are free to read while one needs to pay to read a book. I never knew the importance of marketing till I became an author because blogging taught me that good writing is always talked about even if you don’t talk about it. While this also works for a book but because the stakes involved are high there is a greater amount of planning that is needed behind promoting a book.
  • Carve an Identity – I started blogging with a pen name – Privy Trifles. No one cared who was Privy Trifles or from which country. I still remember having an argument with my first publisher to keep my name as Privy Trifles on the book as people knew me more by that name rather than my real name. My social media accounts were also in that name. He flatly refused to say it doesn’t work in India. I cited the example of Desperate in Dubai a best-selling novel by an anonymous blogger from Dubai which he pushed aside calling it a rare phenomenon.  The moment you become an author people want to know the real you, the person behind the book. They need a connection with you in terms of your pictures and also glimpses of your personal life which may or may not be limited to things ranging from likes and dislikes in food to views on movies and social issues. After becoming an author I learnt I could no longer hide behind pen names!
  • Social Media Presence – As a blogger, I managed to stay away from Facebook and Twitter till 2015-16. Yes! I did and it made no difference to my blog statistics in terms of readers.  Rather if I were to say honestly that was one of the most productive phases as my only concentration was on writing during that time and I lay blissfully unaware of anything that needed my attention. But as an author, the first few things that are told to you are “social media presence”. Be omnipresent- be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, have a Facebook page, and stay active. Though I could never understand how one can write while doing all this but yes it did work well for a book. I didn’t know the magic wand called social media till then. I have even seen authors promoting their books one year in advance starting it when it was just a plot and sharing regular updates about how and what has been added or removed from the story.  Becoming an author introduced me to the role of social media in our lives, so to speak.
  • Silence is not golden – Bloggers are often used to silent readers of blogs where they mostly refrain from commenting or letting the blogger know about them in any manner.  And up to some extent, it is perfectly okay. I remember receiving emails from complete strangers talking about some post that had made them think and then we would go on to discuss it bit by bit. I really enjoyed that. Sometimes those silent readers would send me requests to write posts on and it was fun trying to think what answers they wanted through that post.

As an author, it is imperative that anyone who reads your work voices it out for you. Good, bad, or ugly… bouquets or brickbats you want them all because that is how you can increase the sales of your book. If someone even sends you a personal email or message on WA or FB messenger you take screenshots and share them on social media as a promotion for your book. Silence in this case is no longer golden; it is the voice that becomes platinum.

  • Research is important – Like I said in point no.1 there is not much that you can write about in 800-1000 words. According to popular research, any online reader’s attention span is not more than that and hence anyone writing articles online is always asked to limit it to those word limits.  So there are times when even the lead characters go without names. They are merely a he and a she. Not much research is needed as there is no detailing in fictional scenes, the play is around words as you try to capture a moment and present it in those few words.

While in a novel as you have a good number of words to play with you cannot leave a lot to a reader’s imagination. A proper background is important, charactersketch is equally needed and so is research about that particular era, clothes, language, mannerisms, political situations, or social etiquette depending upon the setting. Becoming an author taught me the importance of research in writing. I witnessed how criminal it could be to have a female character wearing the latest clothes of the 21st century in a story set in the 17th century and how out of place would a particular word sound in period drama for it was a slang coined recently.

  • Full-time writer and its perks – One of my relatives recently invited me on a holiday. I politely refused to say I couldn’t afford that trip right now both financially and personally. She laughed and stated, “Stop kidding me! Let’s be honest you don’t want to come.  I know authors earn lakhs!” Some benevolent cousin had apparently briefed in detail to anyone who wanted to know about my earnings.  As a blogger, nobody assumed that writing was a full-time opportunity that could be paying me well. But as a writer, it is assumed that writing is my full-time career with amazing perks apart from name and fame.  In blogging the investment is very but the returns are too high while as an author the investment is huge and the returns minimal, spread across years. (P.S.: Apologies but couldn’t help the investment banker in me coming out to express how I really feel about this point!)

These days becoming an author is not only about writing a book. You need to know how to sell it too apart from various other skills like social media and offline promotions. Earlier writers had only one job- Write. Rest everything was taken care of. And due to the absence of proper channels more often than not they were completely unaware about the direct feedback on their books. But today’s writers have a plethora of options to get feedback from ranging from alpha readers, beta readers, editors, and of course the reviewers apart from the readers.

Does this complicate things? Maybe yes, maybe no! But it surely extends the list of things on the to-do list for an author. Now it is no longer just plot-research-write it is much more than that. 

Since my first short-story collection in 2015 I have written 2 more short-story collections and one travelogue. The lessons from writing and publishing still continue as I learn something new every day. I now work with publishing houses and authors on various aspects of a book. Yet I feel there is so much more for me to learn, explore and experiment!

What has your biggest learning as a writer?

About the Author

Namrata is a published author who enjoys writing stories and think pieces on travel, relationships, and gender. She is a UEA alumnus and has studied travel writing at the University of Sydney.

She is also an independent editor and a book reviewer. Her writings can be found on various sites and magazines like the Kitaab, Asian Review of Books, Contemporary South Asia Journal of King’s College-London, Mad in Asia, The Friday Times, The Scroll, Feminism in India, The Brown Orient Journal, Inkspire Journal, Moonlight Journal, The Same, Chronic Pain India and Cafe Dissensus.

Her short stories have been a part of various anthologies and have also published two short story collections of her own. She is currently working on her debut novel. She loves traveling the length and breadth of the world and enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is always in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

Facebook Page | Twitter | Reviews Blog Creative Writing Blog

Her latest book The Lost Wanderer has been garnering rave reviews. You can grab your copy from Amazon

New Release: The Powerful, The Powerless by Shiva Dhuli

About the Book

This story is set in a fictitious country where deceitful, Machiavellian politicians, who commit heinous crimes without batting an eyelid, pretend to be the guardians of the country, making a farce of democracy.
Bharat, the protagonist of the novel, is a humble, young man from a lowly background who has big dreams. But his dreams go awry when his path in life crosses that of some such powerful and unscrupulous politicians. Does he have any chance to fight and triumph over them?

Young Bharat finds his life living in a small, far-flung town, in a community that fiercely holds on to all regressive ideas and beliefs, so far removed from what he imagines for himself.
Bharat dreams of becoming a man of some stature, and when a crisis in his life threatens his dream he flees to a big city, hoping that he could lean on some arm of the government and the country and realize his dream one day.
But what his life in the big city – through his adolescence to adulthood – teaches him is shockingly different from what he had imagined and hoped for.
At every stage in his life, he finds the very guardians of the country turn his nemeses, and throw hurdles his way and thwart his dream.
Then he faces the biggest hurdle of his life, Kansakumar, the Chief Minister of the state, who wrongs the love of his life and makes his whole world turn topsy-turvy. Can he take on this challenge?

A poignant saga of the power of passion, hope, and agony

Buy your Copy NOW!

Cover Reveal – Lahore by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar


The first book of The Partition Trilogy by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar

About the book

In the months leading up to independence, in Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel are engaged in deliberations with British Viceroy Dickie Mountbatten over the fate of the country. In Lahore, Sepoy Malik returns home from the Great War hoping to win his sweetheart Tara’s hand in marriage, only to find divide-and-rule holding sway, and love, friendships and familial bonds being tested. 

Set in parallel threads across these two cities, Lahore is a behind-the-scenes look into the negotiations and the political skullduggery that gave India its freedom, the price for which was batwara. As the men make the decisions and wield the swords, the women bear the brunt of the carnage that tears through India in the sticky hot months of its cruellest summer ever.

Backed by astute research, The Partition Trilogy captures the frenzy of Indian independence, the Partition and the accession of the states, and takes readers back to a time of great upheaval and churn.


‘As the men fought over religion and maps, the Partition heaped unspeakable atrocities on women. Manreet’s book is a faithful, unforgiving look at what was and also what shouldn’t have been. Lahore is breathtaking in scope, painful yet gentle to the touch.’ – Taslima Nasreen, author of Lajja and Shameless

‘Vivid and atmospheric. By deftly weaving the personal and the political, Manreet Sodhi Someshwar transports us to the uncertain months leading up to the tragedy of Partition.’ – Aanchal Malhotra, author of Remnants of a Separation

‘A timely reminder of what differences and divisions can do … An engaging read that tries to humanize the politics of the partition. Current, relevant and important. This is a voice which makes you question, rethink and reimagine the past as the future and the future as the past. A voice to pay attention to in these times of rising intolerance and right-wing extremism. A voice of reason and reckoning.’ – Sabyn Javeri, author of Hijabistan

‘Tension pervades this first part of Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s Partition trilogy. It wafts through the corridors of power, penetrates bonds between friends and lovers, and befouls the earth itself. Without releasing the reader from its ominous undercurrent, Manreet deftly weaves the big strands of history with the finer threads of human feeling, reminding us of a calamity that tore apart not just nations and states but also the heart and spirit of a people.’ – Manu S. Pillai, author of The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore

About the Author

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is an award-winning and bestselling writer of seven books, including the Mehrunisa series, the critically-acclaimed The Long Walk Home and The Radiance of a Thousand Suns, and most recently, The Partition Trilogy. Hailed as ‘a star on the literary horizon’ by Khushwant Singh and garnering endorsements from Gulzar for two of her books, Manreet and her work have featured at literary festivals in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, India and NYC. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, the South China Morning Post and several Indian publications. Manreet lives in New York City with her husband, daughter and cat.

Pre-Order NOW

News from the literary world

Indian readers’ wish-list fulfilled; Himalayan Writing Retreat launches country’s first weekly bestseller book list

Indian readers’ wish-list fulfilled; Himalayan Writing Retreat launches country’s first weekly bestseller book list

  • Nielsen data-backed list includes 60% Indian book sales across online and physical stores
  • Weekly Update on Top 50 Fiction, Top 50 Non-Fiction and Top 25 Children’s books

Mukteshwar: July 20, 2021 – India is the world’s 7th largest book market but didn’t have its own credible, regularly updated list of bestselling books, until now. To help Indian readers simplify their search for fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, the Himalayan Writing Retreat (HWR) announces India’s first comprehensive weekly bestseller book list titled ‘The HWR Bestseller List.’

Continue reading “News from the literary world”

New Release: The Soul Crafter by Barry Cheema

About the Book

The Holy Grail School had a long-term reputation as an institution of stern discipline, good behaviour, and high goals. One day, something goes wrong. Everything changes as if someone had cast a spell on the entire school.

’You think you are not hypnotised but the reality is that you already are. And the irony is that you are not even aware of it.’

                                                                                        –          The Soul Crafter

About author

Barry Cheema is the author of ‘Your destination has arrived!’ The book had been released in 130 countries and earned rave reviews for its unique storyline. He is a graduate in music and had done an acting and theatre course with ‘Actor Prepares.’ Apart from poetry, composing and programming songs, he is well known for his singing. He is from Panchkula.

Grab your copy from Amazon