Name: Namita Moolani Mehra
What you Write: Cookbooks, informational fiction and picture books
Agent: Naomi Davis
Why BookEnds? BookEnds has an incredible reputation and is a thought-leader in the industry, providing a treasure trove of useful advice for writers. With hundreds of gushing clients, incredible agents…. It was definitely at the top of my list!
What book do you wish you had written, and why?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I LOVE Roald Dahl and the timelessness of his work. His writing stirred up my creative and foodie side at a very young age. My 7-year-old just got into his books – I’m thrilled!
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Running my small business (indian-spicebox.com) keeps me crazy busy! I spend a lot of time on social media—writing content and running ads, plus coordinating with retail, delivering orders and managing stock. It’s hard being an entrepreneur but it has been a fulfilling journey, as the sales of my products have helped fund over a quarter million hot meals for underprivileged children in India. Our goal is to fund 1 million meals by 2025.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
@Indianspicebox on Facebook and Instagram
What’s the last book you read?
Children’s: The Oldest Student by Rita Lorraine Hubbard who is a fellow 12×12 member. I recently heard her webinar and ordered her book right away!
Adult: Close To The Bone, by Lisa Ray, a fellow HarperCollins India writer and a new friend here in Singapore!
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
I can shake off anything as I write. My sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn –Anne Frank
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
You can’t be a writer if you don’t write! Try and write something every single day (to do lists and grocery lists don’t count!) Even if it’s not very good writing, it’s OKAY. You have to keep exercising and flexing those writing muscles. This has been tough for me as an entrepreneur, but I’ve gotten better about it and joining Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 picture book challenge really helped me keep up the momentum.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
As a writer sitting out in Singapore, I am excited to have BookEnds represent my work in the North American market. While I have already published a cookbook and 2 children’s books (one with Scholastic India and one coming out with HarperCollins India later this year) my current work is technically in the ‘informational fiction’ genre. I’m fairly new to picture book writing and love the strong editorial support that my agent provides.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Think of yourself as a match-maker. Deeply research or better still, STALK agents and identify the ones who will fall in love with your work. Because I write a lot about food, I knew I had to find an agent who was equally obsessed with food and cooking. Connecting the right dots is key!