She broke ground in advertising first, making one memorable campaign after another for Mountain Dew, Nokia, Kurkure (she's also the brainchild behind Pepsi's Yeh Dil Maange More campaign). Then, when she penned The Zoya Factor, the first of many best-sellers, she was to write, she shot to fame as one of the most 'readable' writers in the country. "Zoya... was such fun to write—heady, liberating and energising. And it gave me more zest for my day job, because it got all my frustration out."
Her work's been a roaring success, but making it as a writer isn't exactly an easy feat. "You need stamina," she tells us. "Because it's a slog, basically. You need to keep going at it, day after day, every single day. Slowly, the manuscript swells in size to become a full-blown book. It's almost like being in prison and digging your way out with a tin spoon."
A big part of why she's been so successful is the way she handles criticism. "Learn from it, if it's constructive. Ignore it if it's petty or motivated." The other part? Research. "I try to read a lot, across genres—fiction, non-fiction, silly stuff, deep stuff, everything. That really helps. Also, listening to real people talk always makes a huge difference. Because, honestly, nothing's as cool as real life!"
She still manages to juggle the whole writing/family thing pretty fluidly, though. "I write when the kids are in school and stop by the time they come home. We also do a lot of chatting on the family Whatsapp group." Her words of wisdom to anybody who wants to be great writer, too: "Write every day. Write a thousand words a day. And write what makes you happy."