Susmita Bhattacharya was born in Mumbai, India. She sailed around the world in oil tankers with her husband before dropping anchor in Wales, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from Cardiff University in 2006. Several of her short stories and poems have been published in the UK and internationally, including journals and magazines such as Wasafiri, Planet- the Welsh Internationalist, Litro, Eleven Eleven (USA), Tears in the Fence, Penguin Unplugged, The View from Here, Riptide, Commuterlit.com, the BBC and anthologies Rarebit- New Welsh Writing, Stories for Homes, Far Flung and Foreign, Railonama and Beyond the Border- New Writing by British Asian Women. One of her short stories was highly commended in the Frome Festival Short Story Contest is 2014. She has also won poetry prizes organised by the Plymouth Libraries and Council.
She lives in Plymouth with her husband, two daughters and a kitten called Krishh. She teaches English as a Foreign Language and facilitates creative writing in the community. She won a mentorship award from Literature Wales in 2008-09 for her debut novel, The Normal State of Mind (Parthian UK) which will be out in February 2015.
Susmita Bhattacharya in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?As a child in Mumbai.
What do you love about short stories?The idea and how it is represented in concise writing.
Do you write in other forms?Poetry sometimes. But novels as well.
What distracts you from writing?Children. The internet!
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Reading, sketching, travelling, eating out.
What is your favourite book?Unaccostumed Earth.
Who are your favourite writers?Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Munro and Daphne Du Maurier.
Where is your dream location?In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
What one item would you put into Room 101?The vaccum cleaner.
Do you have any advice for new writers?There is no excuse for not writing. When doing the dishes, or ironing, one can think up the plot, the storyline. And then instead of watching TV into the night, one can start writing it down. The creative mind loves mundane chores.
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