As a kid, Ananya Mallik (BSBA ’23) loved nothing more than getting lost in a new book. Her love of reading followed her as she grew up, eventually inspiring her to double major in comparative literature alongside business at UNC.
Her studies in the Undergraduate Business Program center around venture capital (VC) and consulting, and she devours books in her free time.
And she couldn’t get rid of the scraps of story ideas floating around in her head. “Eventually I decided that I just had to do it,” she says. “Write the book. I mean if not now, then when?”
That’s the attitude Mallik takes in her other endeavors as well. It’s why she co-founded Lux Libertas Ventures, a student-run VC fund, with fellow business students. She also is a VC scout for a few firms, including Amazon Web Services, and serves on the executive board of Carolina Consulting Challenge, UNC’s national case competition.
Writing the book was the perfect outlet for her creativity and one way she achieved balance as a business student.
“My life currently is about numbers and projects,” she says. “This book was my passion project. It motivated me to perform better because I was using my creative side here and was able to focus on the more logistical problems in my business courses.”
Mallik credits her business classes as the motivation behind her journey. “From my freshman year classes, UNC Kenan-Flagler always encouraged us to step outside our comfort zones and take risks.”
That’s why she decided to end up writing “Endless: A Villains Love Story,” a romantic thriller.
“I don’t know how this book is going to fit into the big picture, but I knew I wanted to do this authentically and organically, and for me that was finding a story I wanted to tell.”
Mallik describes the book as a kaleidoscopic exploration of love, brokenness and ambition. Her goal was to take the traditional narrative and flip it on its head to be able to explore the dangers and untold stories of passion gone awry. She divided the book into five acts, using the structure of Greek tragedy.
She wrote the book for readers of all ages – and fans of thrillers, romance or contemporary fiction need not worry. “Endless” is about grappling with the quest for individuality and learning not to trust appearances,” says Mallik, who hopes the book will spark reflection and conversations.
Mallik spent most of 2020 writing the book and working with her developmental editor. Now she’s embarking on the next phase of her journey: launching the pre-sale campaign.
Her publisher, New Degree Press, takes a different approach. She will keep the book rights and raise funds by selling their book in advance of its publication. The pre-publication sales will fund publishing costs, editing, cover design, typesetting and promotion.
Mallik needs to pre-sell a minimum of 120 books by May 2 to get the green light from NDP to publish it. Readers who pre-order the book get access to exclusive rewards including a signed copy of the book, their name in the acknowledgements, help selecting the cover and more.
“There’s an element of risk and a leap of faith in writing a book and hoping it will be published,” she says. “I’m hoping readers will want to take invest in a young writer and as a community support my journey as an indie author.”
While Mallik hasn’t decided if she will write another book, she continues to explore career paths.
She has a summer internship at JLL Capital Markets through the UNC Real Estate Diversity Initiative offered by the Leonard Wood Center for Real Estate Studies at UNC Kenan-Flagler.
She also is a Deloitte Leadership, Allyship and Mentorship Program (DLAMP) scholar. The program connects diverse students and consulting leaders through a cohort-driven mentorship program.
“I’m in the phase of my life where I’m saying yes to everything,” says Mallik. “I want to absorb and soak in as many experiences as possible – writing, real estate, consulting, venture capital. I don’t know what the future holds, but I want to make sure that whatever I decide on doing will be with full conviction and I will know that it was the right path for me.”