Author interview: Neeta Mardia

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I did want to write and always had a vivid imagination, and even in my early teens kept thinking of a pen name. However although I read, I hardly wrote stories and soon by late teens started to focus on law and a law career. Whilst I write formally in my work, I’m picking up the pen to write closer to my true nature a bit later in life…

At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer?

At any point. If you love the written word and write, then that’s enough.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

As a new self published author it has been heart warming to hear from some of my readers who are in the process of separating or going through a divorce. Apparently I have a soothing voice! – through my book I help them holistically through the stresses and tribulations of divorce. They say that I outline the facts in layman’s terms and in parallel identify with what they are going through. I suppose that comes with years of experience. I help them with how to cope using mindfulness and meditation techniques. One reader said they would gift wrap a copy for their spouse! It’s also nice to hear that friends are buying for their friends going through tough times. 

Does writing energize or exhaust you? Or both?

Writing energises me – I really look forward to and get excited by times when I can just sit and write. I do need peace and quiet when I write. It’s a shame when life gets in the way!

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

As I got serious with my writing I decided to buy one of those glass desks that you can raise up or down, at the moment it sits lodged against the back of my sofa. My pampered cat Merlin has already found his way onto the sofa, up the back of the sofa and onto my desk across to my laptop, so I’m constantly saving my work. It’s so tempting to press the desk button to give him a little ride up and down but he’s getting on a bit now and don’t want him to freak him nor have his scratches etched on the top!

How did you come up with the title for your book?

Having been a qualified family solicitor for nearly 30 years, I started writing the book a few years ago as I wanted to help take the animosity and recrimination away from divorcing couples and give them the information they need to move forwards. There has been a recent landmark change in law in England and Wales after 50 years of showing fault, when no fault divorce became law in 2020, and was finally brought into force in April 2022. This was the ideal time to finish my book and outline the new procedures. Avoiding the Blame Game therefore seemed to me to be the natural title, with my subtitle a Legal and Holistic guide to no fault divorce outlining the blend of factual information and my support for the person as a whole.

How long did it take you to write this book?

The book took me nearly 4 years although for a year of that I probably didn’t do much writing….. as I waited for a change in the new legal procedures for no fault divorce.

How much research did you need to do for your book?

Most of the legal side I had an in-depth knowledge of, but I did relish bringing together several case studies – being an amalgamation of situations previous clients have been through. As I was writing these it became apparent that resilience is at the core of our human nature, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I also really enjoyed outlining a few meditation and mindfulness techniques as I’m an avid reader of self-help books and try to practice meditation. The holistic supports have been the fun parts of the book for me to write.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? 

One of the most uplifting things I learnt when creating this book is how ultimately when we strip away all the noise we go through in our lives, we all ultimately want to live peaceful lives and be happy and loved.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?

I was really surprised how easy self publishing on Amazon has been for my E-books and for my paperback as often my readers like to have both. My readers are in a niche market – those thinking of divorce, have been through a divorce, or know of family or friends going through a divorce. Initially I thought I would like a traditional publisher, but the outcome of self publishing has given me great control and flexibility over the publishing process.

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