Author’s Corner: With Nina Godiwalla

Posted: April 9, 2012

In the ‘Author’s Corner’ series we shine the spotlight on promising first-time female authors. Hope you enjoy reading some fun facts about them!

Meet Nina Godiwalla, author of Suits, which tells the story of an ambitious young woman starting out on a challenging corporate career – with several odds stacked against her.

If you had not become a writer, what would you have been?

My career test in college said my ideal career would be the ministry, but I haven’t gone down that path yet; maybe a psychologist. My true passion is understanding human behaviour, what we can do to improve our selves and consequently the lives of those around us.

What is the best thing about being a published author?

I love meeting amazing people! As a public speaker and a corporate leadership and diversity trainer, I now get to meet passionate, successful people all the time. It used to be a hobby of mine, and now it has become my job. Not sure you can get luckier than that.

What is the hardest thing about writing a book?

The easiest part was that I never wrote it with the intention of many people reading it so I was honest and didn’t feel the need to filter my thoughts and feelings. The hardest part was the editing process. It was long (several months) and incredibly tedious. That being said, the editing process is also where I learned the most since I had an editor, Lauren LeBlanc who really put her heart into the work.

If you were a man, would there be anything different about your book?

Many men struggled through the investment banking experience including the long hours, demanding bosses and controlling culture. However the women had to deal with that on top of being a marginalized group in the male-dominated environment. I think my story may have been shorter if I were a guy.

Who was the first to read your book? What was their first reaction?

The first draft of the book was a thesis I wrote for a master’s program. My advisor, Brock Brower (author of The Late Great Creature) was the first to read it, and he was the one who convinced me that this was a story worth telling. Without him, the book would have never been written. As he read, he just kept saying “Tell me more…”

One book you would love to have written?

My favourite book is Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. I, like many other second generation Americans, have always felt caught between the two cultures: American and Indian. She was the first person who really captured some of the complicated emotions that go along with the experience.

Future literary plans?

My next book will be The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari meets 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. At MindWorks, I teach senior executives across various industries including government, corporate and education about becoming self-aware leaders. MindWorks organizational training format is discussion-focused so I learn just as much from those I teach as they do from me. I plan to take the lessons learned about leading from within and share them. It will not be a dry how-to business book, but rather entertaining stories that share leadership experiences.

Sounds interesting Nina! We look forward to reading it!

*Photo credit: Nina Godiwalla

Previous Interviews in Author’s Corner:

Urvashi Gulia of My Way Is The Highway

Kiran Manral of The Reluctant Detective

Ameera Al Hakawati of Desperate In Dubai

Judy Balan of Two Fates

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