Julia, please tell us about yourself—you know, all that stuff that makes you interesting!
Hi! I am from a Hill Station in India called Shillong. I have wings on my feet and have lived in many places in India, loving its oneness in its diversity. I grew up in a boarding school, but finished schooling in Bombay, now, Mumbai.
For the last 23 years I have been an advertising professional and a journalist, for a few years. I write as a freelance writer now as I am driving the branch office of an ad agency, in Delhi.
I love cats and other animals, plants, humans on FB, Twitter and Goodreads.
Blue, green and a royal purple are my fav colours.
I live in Delhi with my partner. But if you ask her, she will say, I live with my computer. Sound of Music is my favourite film ever!
When and why did you begin writing?
My mother was a writer and a poet. I inherited her genes. I started early in school, with poems but graduated to story writing soon. It was always a short story to be written overnight that got me started. I still prefer the 2 -3000 word count.
What is your genre?
Are you an organized outliner or more of a seat of pants writer?
Well, I get an idea first. Then in my head I try to work out the story. Suddenly out of the blue, I write the first skeleton of 5–20,000 words. If there is a deadline, very good, I work best under pressure. Then, I expand, shrink, cut, add, whatever!
What other writer inspires you? Your work?
Ayn Rand, Sydney Sheldon, Jane Austen, Amitabh Ghosh, to name only a few. I am inspired by life and the stories of struggle, emotional and psychological. They are very meaningful to me and hence, all my stories have a little philosophy thread in them too. I think human beings, with their aspirations far beyond their obvious day to day happenings, are the most powerful inspiration for any art form. We aspire towards something, all the time and it is nice to be able to see and write about that. There is not one, human on this earth, whose life is not inspiring. Only s/he may not be aware of it.
What is your favorite work by you? And why is it your fav?
A collection of published poems in an anthology called “Here and Now”. I also value the second book I am writing now, because the characters, alive and dead, are so close to my heart. The poem collection is spiritual in essence and reminds me of my own aspirations and reflections.
Where does your character inspiration come from?
From real people; with real needs.
What’s your best/worst experience as a writer?
The best experience is finishing a story, tying up, packing it all up in a brown paper packet (figuratively!) and sending it to the publisher.
The worst is the fear of seeing the first reaction to the book. OMG!
(Laughing here) We all know that feeling! Share the best/worst writing advice you ever got.
Best: Writing books is like sex; it gets better with practice!
Worst: Not everyone can write; not everyone will be an author of a book.
What is your latest published work?
The first book published is: “Until Death Do Us Part”.
Here’s the book’s description as listed on Amazon.
Though set in India, Julia Dutta’s characters are universal. From childhood to old age, the unforgettable women gracing these stories refuse to be chained to roles others have determined for them. Whether in the country or in the cities, her women find their own identities in a world that tries to extinguish their fires. These tales are their journeys, but they are also the journeys of women everywhere.
Some stories contain content not suitable for all audiences.
Do you have another work in progress?
My second book is placed in a major city in India and showcases the life and struggles of three men trying to start and make it big in the advertising world of the early 80s. Packed with humour and satire, I hope to give my readers lots of things to laugh at and about. Looking out through the wings, though, is my third book, which is a more serious engagement with relationships that stretch over lifetimes.
What do you want your fans to know about you and your work?
Oh of course! The full picture, please! That I appreciate them tremendously, and I hope they will find a nugget of truth in my writings which they can keep for life and pass it on to their children and grandchildren too.
Tell us something about yourself that your readers don’t already know.
I love my cuppa of pure Darjeeling tea! When I am travelling, which is quite often, I carry my own little kettle, cup and tea leaves wherever I go and am very stingy about sharing it with anyone
As a tea lover, I can appreciate that. Where can readers find out more about you and your work?