Student Achievements: Arti Manani
Now is a perfect time to start something new or complete any personal goals you may have! If there is anything that you would love to get involved in, now is a great time to get started!
Former English Language and Communication student Arti Manani, has always wanted to publish her own novel and this year she has achieved her goal! Arti published ‘The Colours of Denial’ in March this year!
Congratulations Arti, what an amazing achievement!
We asked Arti a little bit about herself, how she came about publishing her own novel and how she feels having accomplished her goal.
I live in West London and have been writing ever since I completed my degree at the University of Hertfordshire. I started as a copywriter and freelance journalist and ended up in marketing where I executed and managed various types of marketing-related copy.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what do you do in your spare time
My passion lies in both marketing and writing so in my spare time, if I’m not doing either of those, I’m spending time with my family or friends, reading a book, or relaxing in front of the TV.
What course did you study, did you enjoy it? Why did you decide to study this course at Herts?I studied English Language and Communication with Journalism and Digital Publishing. I’ve always had a passion in these areas so this degree was perfect for me. I was based at the De Havilland campus, which, when I joined was only a year old. The campus was like a miniature town-like community, with its own shop and restaurant. I thoroughly enjoyed my course and my time at Hertfordshire University, I wouldn’t change a thing.
What prompted you to start writing?It’s easy to say “I want to publish a novel.” I’ve spent nearly all my life saying it to anyone who has ever asked me.
I remember thinking that my university dissertation would be the biggest thing I’d ever actually write, despite always wanting to write a novel. It’s nice to have these goals and dreams to be a writer and to publish books but in reality, how many people actually do what they’ve always wanted to do? Life usually comes in the way and you end up having to re-prioritise.
In 2018, my boss at the time introduced the team to a personal development coach, Gavin Drake at Mindspan. He asked us all what we wanted from life and I told him that one of my goals was to write a book. Usually, at this point, people would ask me what the book would be about and I would say something like, “I’m not sure yet”, but instead, Gavin asked me where I was with it, which shocked me a little because I wasn’t anywhere.
This was just the beginning of a 2-day session, but I could already begin to see where I was going wrong. I needed to start. It was this session that pushed me to think differently about my life and where I wanted to go with it. So that was my biggest prompt.
How did you come to publish a novel and how long did it take?I published The Colours of Denial in March 2020, not that long ago. This was more of a personal goal and also a hobby so I wasn’t too interested in spending time finding a publisher. I tend to want to do things myself so I decided to self-publish. The self-publishing didn’t take very long compared to the writing and editing process. In all, the whole process took a lot of time and dedication throughout about 14 months.
Are thrillers your favourite genre?I won’t say it’s my favourite as I try not to limit myself to one genre. I like to read anything that can grab my attention and make me feel connected, either to a character or the plot. I like winding down in thrillers as much as I do mystery, real-life memoirs, humour etc. I love the suspense and feeling of panic that mysteries and thrillers create, I love trying to understand some of the things people go through and how they overcome it by reading memoirs, and I have to say, books with humour are just nice to read because who doesn’t like to laugh?
What was your inspiration for writing this novel?Nearly everything around me inspired me to write The Colours of Denial. Various parks, landmarks, my own experiences, thoughts and nightmares, reading other books and watching Netflix, they all played a part.
My biggest inspiration came from talking to people. When people are just as excited as you, it really helps to keep going.
Did you receive any support?Everyone around me supported me in one way or another. My friends and family were highly supportive, especially my niece Shreya, who’d check in now and again, asking about the characters and generally seeing where I was with it all. She’s only ten but she’s even come up with a fantastic idea for another thriller which I intend to write in the future. For me, motivation and positivity is the strongest form of support and I’m lucky to have been surrounded by those who gave me that.
Many would say writing is relaxing – would you agree? Do you feel that it has helped you in any way?100% yes. I did distribute some of my own worries and personality amongst my characters and it did help to de-stress. I think I wrote better on the days when I wasn’t relaxed if anything.
Would you encourage others to start writing?If that’s what they’re into, then yes. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try, it could be anything from poetry, short stories, or even journals. I love writing. For me, it’s a hobby, a passion and a job, that’s why I do it.
But not everyone has the same interests, so if anything, I would encourage others to focus on working towards their end goal, whatever that may be.
Click here for a preview of Arti’s novel, ‘The Colours of Denial.’
If you enjoyed the preview of Arti’s work, click here to purchase the full novel.
Congratulations again Arti! What an amazing achievement! This has shown us, if you put your mind to it, you really can make your dreams come true!