Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Radhika Sanghani Interview - 30 Things I Love about Myself

Photo Content from Radhika Sanghani

Radhika Sanghani is an award-winning journalist and author. Her first two novels Virgin and Not That Easy - which tell the comic story of a young woman’s sexual exploration - were published in 13 countries and turned into an online TV series. Joan Rivers even said they were ‘one of the funniest things I’ve read in years.’ Her third novel 30 Things I Love About Myself, which is loosely based on Radhika’s own self-love journey, will be published in January 2022.

As a freelance features journalist, Radhika regularly writers on women’s issues and lifestyle topics for The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Guardian, BBC, Grazia, Glamour, Elle and Cosmopolitan magazines. She is also a regular guest on TV and radio shows, from Good Morning Britain to Sky News. She recently gave a TedX talk called 'How to love yourself' after launching the viral #sideprofileselfie movement to celebrate big noses, and is now a body positive campaigner.

Radhika is currently on the 2019-2020 BBC Comedy Writer's Room, developing her skills as a screen writer. She is also the founder of a Nail Bar pop-up scheme with charity Age UK where volunteers give manicures to elderly women struggling with loneliness. She is also a qualified yoga teacher, and can often be found teaching hatha yoga in her local park in North West London.

Tell us about 30 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF! How did the idea for this story come about?
30 Things is fully inspired by my own self-love journey! I realized I needed to love myself in my late 20s after a break-up, and that journey completely changed my life. It was hilarious but also hard and magical, and a few years into it, I decided it would be amazing to write a fictionalized version of it. That was the start of Nina Mistry and 30 Things.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I really hope readers start thinking about their own lives. Obviously I also want them to lose themselves in the characters and story, but I would love for 30 Things to inspire them to go on their own self-love journeys and take some of the positive messages into their own lives.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love for Nina to meet Mr Darcy because I think he’d be both terrified and in absolute awe of her.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being a published novelist.
I love when I get messages from people saying my books have helped them in some way – normally by making them feel less alone or by inspiring them to accept themselves. That makes me feel amazing. But also – so does the moment when the first copy of my book arrives in the post and I get to actually hold it. I always cry.

What else are you currently working on?
I’m working on my next novel now which is all about three sisters who hate each other but are forced to spend two weeks together when their dad dies. It’s all about healing, friendship and solving a family secret.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think it’s the only way to make sense of life. I need stories to understand myself as well as people around me. And creating helps me feel alive. I have no idea what I would do if I couldn’t write. I would have to find another way to tell stories. Stand-up comedy maybe!

  • 1) It’s funny. I laughed when writing it, so I think you’ll definitely laugh when reading it
  • 2) It’s honest in every single way
  • 3) It’s uplifting and warm which, in my opinion, makes it the perfect January read
  • 4) Nina is my favorite ever heroine. She’s brave and bold and even when she makes bad life choices, she’s self-aware enough to realize what she’s doing
  • 5) The message is about loving yourself rather than changing yourself
  • 6) It’s not just light-hearted – there are serious and important messages in there about racism and mental health
  • 7) Even if you don’t like Nina, you’ll probably like her mum Rupa, her brother Kal, or her Auntie Trish
  • 8) It’s divided into zodiac seasons so you’ll learn about astrology
  • 9) I spent a lot of time working on it so would really love for you to read it!!
  • 10) It might inspire you to go on your own self-love journey…
Writing Behind the Scenes
I recently re-read my diaries and realized I was actually on a very long flight back from Sydney to London (via Texas – it was a really long flight) back in March 2019, crying over a boy, when the idea of Nina Mistry’s story first came to me. It was the only thing that take me out of my sadness so I channeled my pain into creativity, and that summer, I wrote the whole of 30 Things.

I had a lot of fun writing the book and I think it shows. I used to take myself to my favorite cafes, sit in the sun and order delicious cakes as I wrote it. My goal was to enjoy writing this book because I was doing it 100% for me. My agent knew about it and was excited, but I didn’t have a book deal – we decided to wait till I’d finished before we sent it out to publishers – so I got the luxury of writing entirely for myself.

I’m from London and live here, but the book is set a couple of hours away in Leicester – a city with a big Indian population that I’ve spent months in since I was a child as my extended family live there. So when I was writing the book, I took a few trips to visit my aunts and do some research. They inspired some of the funny scenes about the small community and the sense that everyone knows everything that happens. I loved being able to set my book in a place and community with such a strong personality!

When a British Indian woman's life hits rock bottom, she decides to change her stars by falling in love...with herself--a hilarious, heartfelt story from outrageously funny novelist Radhika Sanghani.

Nina didn't plan to spend her thirtieth birthday in jail, yet here she is in her pajamas, locked in a holding cell. There's no Wi-Fi, no wine, no carbs--and no one to celebrate with.

Unfortunately, it gives Nina plenty of time to reflect on how screwed up her life is. She's just broken up with her fiancé, and now has to move back into her childhood home to live with her depressed older brother and their uptight, traditional Indian mother. Her career as a freelance journalist isn't going in the direction she wants, and all her friends are too busy being successful to hang out with her.

Just as Nina falls into despair, a book lands in her cell: How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself. It must be destiny. With literally nothing left to lose, Nina makes a life-changing decision to embark on a self-love journey. By her next birthday, she's going to find thirty things she loves about herself.

You can purchase 30 Things I Love about Myself at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


  1. Physical Education. I honestly just really hated that class

  2. I wasn't a fan of calculus to be honest, wasn't exactly the most useful course.

  3. It's been so long that I don't even know what they teach in High School anymore. I would imagine that all of it is useful to someone. I wasn't a big fan of Math classes but I wouldn't call them useless.

  4. group work -- always someone who didn't pull their own weight, dumb af

  5. The higher math classes, only those going forward with their education or career in that direction needed those classes.

  6. I think that Chemistry is the most useless class.

  7. The most useless class I had in High School was Algebra.

  8. Most useless class in high school for me was languages class. Spanish was NOT my thing..!

  9. PE, not a fan of how it was done in the late 80's

  10. "What do you think is the most useless class in high school?" Gym class. It's utterly pointless and a waste of money.

  11. PE swim class every one had pools so we could swim anytime we wanted at home.