This is my story.
Hello! I'm Annika and I'm a coffee-loving, work-addicted, laughter-obsessed, wanderlusting girl who often finds (mis)adventures in New York City while on my dreamchasing quest.
Words have been my passion for my entire life - and I've built a career on it. By day, I am a Communications Project Manager at an Ivy League medical institution. By night, my life comes alive - I'm an agented and published writer of romcoms: Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words, came out in 2021, and Sugar, Spice and Can't Play Nice comes out May 2, 2023. I'm also the host of a podcast called That Desi Spark, which explores stigmatized social issues from a South Asian, first-generation, millennial lens.
Welcome to my home online. Grab a cup of chai, make yourself comfortable, and don't hesitate to leave a note!
Represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group
Love, Chai, & Other Four-Letter Words
September 21, 2021
In 2017, Annika signed a book deal with Sourcebooks for a romcom series entitled, The Chai Masala Club, about a group of friends with South Asian backgrounds and their culturally-conflicted love stories.
The first book, Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words, was released on September 21, 2021. It follows Kiran, an Indian-American with family drama, who falls in love with Nash (who has reasons of his own for avoiding romance). Their sparkling, romantic, and funny story is set against the backdrop of bucket lists and the New York City skyline. Love, Chai received two starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and was named an Amazon Best Book of September 2021, Apple Books' Writer to Watch, and Library Journal Best Book of 2021. Order below.
Sugar, Spice, & Can't Play Nice
May 2, 2023
Payal is a girl on the verge--of living a life she's always dreamt of, becoming a rising star in fashion, and...of marriage?!
When her parents insist she marry fellow Londoner and serial dater Ayaan Malhotra in order to save their company, Payal has a choice: stick it to her dysfunctional family but put her hard-earned fashion success on hold...or get engaged to save her family's fortune and rescue her own dream-come-true life.
Ayaan has always been seen as the reckless spare to his brother, the golden child heir to their parents' company. A little wild, a little broken, and desperate to prove himself, Ayaan agrees to get engaged to Payal -- on the condition that he gets 50 percent stake in his parents' company.
Neither Payal nor Ayaan anticipate the challenges of keeping their respective agendas behind the engagement to themselves: a meddlesome grandmother, a spurned ex-girlfriend, two families with stakes of their own, a fashion brand on the line, and, unexpectedly, actually liking each other. But as the two race toward an impending engagement ceremony date, they realize that maybe they aren't just in this for business...and perhaps, love is in the cards after all. Preorder below.
The blognd news
"Keep igniting that Desi spark."
Recognizing the void of South Asian voices in the podcasting world, Annika put out a call for co-hosts and within weeks, That Desi Spark podcast (formerly known as The Woke Desi) was born. Together, the two women -- Annika, and marketing strategist and blogger Nehal Tenany -- alongside producer, Sri, have constructed episodes surrounding issues that remain woefully unspoken about within South Asian communities. Unafraid to broach subjects like trauma, abuse, infertility, mental health, and LGBTQ rights, TDS releases a new episode every Tuesday at midnight on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. They have been featured in The Times of India and on the BBC, partnered with Vice on an episode surrounding human sex trafficking, signed a radio syndication deal with Rukus Avenue Radio (Dash Radio's South Asian subsidiary), and JioSaavn. They have also been invited to conduct workshops at Viacom CBS, Product of Culture Festival, and PodThon, and have served as keynote speakers at Heartfulness You.th 2.0.