Interview with Dr Nilu Sivapragasan

Updated: Mar 30

Tell me a bit about yourself….

I am a research scientist who studies the interaction between food macromolecules, mainly carbohydrates, and proteins, with the human gut.

· A wellness coach and a wellness educator for corporates.

· A certified Emotional Intelligence coach where I bring emotions and nutrition in balance for managing emotions at, both work and personal life.

· An Ayurvedic practitioner– integrating ayurveda with modern nutritional practices is the essence of my healing.

What genre/s do you write in?

· I do write peer-reviewed scientific journals (available on google scholar @nilushnisivapragasam)

· Recently I have published my first book on diets

How long have you been writing?

· Little bit over a decade

Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.


· Yes, I have peer-reviewed research, review, and conference articles pertaining to my research

· I did publish a book on diets: Know your diet

Publishing routes:

· Peer-reviewed articles are published in high-impact journals

· Book was published on Kindle Direct Publisher (KDP) as a kindle version and a paperback version

Did you use an editor? If so who?

· Yes, I did. One of my colleagues in a similar field did review and edit my book.

· Name and company of the editor: T.D. Gunawardhana from DG writers

Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?

· Yes, used both formatter and cover designer

Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?

· I did self-publish the work on KDP. Since it was the first time, I did have to work back and forth on fine-tuning the formatting. Thank God, my husband was the one who helped me in putting everything together. Honestly, I was only responsible for the contents. Formatting, designing the cover page, uploading the book to KDP, and even book sales are managed by my husband.

How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include links)

· I did not do any paid promotions in my book. However, the corporates I work with did order copies for their staff. Apart from that, I used social media (FB, IG, LI) to spread the word. I did also share the word with my friends and family, so then they would get a copy.

What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?

· LinkedIn and FB groups would be ideal. In regards to FB groups, it is best to find a suitable niche and then share your content. If not, your post will be diluted or will become unseen.

Do you use an agent?

· No

Do you use paid advertising? If so what?

Not yet. But I am currently looking into some paid promotions on FB and IG.

Do you have a blog or website?

· This is a work in progress. Soon (next 4-6 weeks) my website ( will be available

What inspires you most to write?

· Understanding what society needs is crucial when writing. For example, my book on “know your diet” emerged after understanding the need of society in terms of diets. Many individuals follow diets without knowing the basics of them. This is partly due to a plethora of information found on the internetwhich is poorly supported by scientific evidence. Thus, writing something with solid evidence and feeding the right information to society is what makes me write.

What do you do to help with writers block?

· When I see something, I reshare the posts to spread the word and get a wider audience.

· I try to collaborate in reviewing their work

How do you plan your writing and start?

· First, I pick a topic that is much spoken or a topic that needs more clarity

· Second, I do my literature review from high-impact journals

· Third, I make my notes the traditional ways– a lot of pen and paper writing

· Finally, I put together my writings, re-read, and re-write until they are in better shape

Is writing your full time job? If not what else do you do?

· It is not my full-time job. I work with corporates to educate their team on better health and wellness practices.

· Work with personal clients (one-on-one) to reverse diseases by appropriate diet and lifestyle practices

· Review course contents for STEM education

What are you working on at the moment?

· Yes, I am a consultant for companies where I provide support in developing healthy food products. Besides, I also work as a freelancer with corporates to coach and educate their staff in streamlining their health.

What is your target audience?

· Anyone who wants to add healthy years to life is my audience

How long does it take you to write a book?

· My first book took 14 months since I was only writing maximum 3-hours a day due to other work commitments.

When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?

· When I was at grad school where I had to write term papers, grants, conference papers, and research articles.

What is your writing schedule look like?

· I prefer writing at night when there is no external trigger.

What does your family think about you writing?

· My husband was the one who seeded the thought of writing the book. He did witness my writing when I was in grad school. However, later he did insist that I should write something to the non-scientific community as well. I believe he was inspired, and that is why he kindled the thought of writing a book.

· My parents weren’t much aware of my writing skills because I left home for my higher education when I was 20. However, they knew I was an avid reader though.

What do you do when you are not writing?

· I read, cook, bake, hike, listen to podcasts that uplift my day and life, do physical workouts at home (I am not a gym-rat).

Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?

· As I keep reading or listening to talks, all of a sudden things pop up out of blue. I have a notebook near my bed, couch, and my working area. I also carry a notebook in my backpack. Whenever things pop up, I write them down and then extend them into the next version (be it a short IG post, an article).

What do you think makes a good story?

Being passionate makes any story a good story. Especially, I believe for fiction-writers (I am not one), living the character, or in other words, method-acting will help craft a good story.

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