Author Interview

Ria Dutta

the author of Confessions of a Dyslexic Lover

Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), Ria Dutta comes from a Bengali family. She currently resides in Bangalore and has been working as a lifestyle content writer for the past five years. Growing up, she found her fondness for reading through the many books that lined the shelves at home. Her love for reading nurtured her passion for writing.

Confessions of a Dyslexic Lover is her first book through which she hopes to help people learn to understand, forgive, love and truly connect with themselves.

 

TBE: Welcome to The Bookish Elf! You’ve recently written ‘Confessions of a Dyslexic Lover’ and I have to admit the premise of the book definitely caught my eye because it’s different. Tell us about this story and how you were inspired to write it.

Confessions of a Dyslexic Lover by Ria DuttaRia Dutta: Thank you, yes, it is very different and that’s exactly how I wanted it to be. I drew inspiration from many places, such as books and movies, and my affinity toward psychology. I also wanted to explore the concept of self-love and respect without which I feel a person is bound to get into a lot of trouble in life especially when it comes to being drawn toward abusive, friendships and relationships.

Through this book, I honestly wanted to help anyone struggling with self-worth and toxic relationships to get help and work on themselves and leave the situation which they know is bad for them.

Even if it helps one person find the courage to leave a toxic relationship or friendship and fight for themselves to be better, nothing would make me happier!

 

TBE: How would you describe Anna? What is her greatest strength and her greatest weakness?

Ria Dutta: Anna is truly a broken soul. She is the protagonist of the book but she’s also the antagonist. She is her own villain and she is fighting a battle within herself to be her hero to defeat her dark side. A reader is either going to be rooting for her to do the right thing and support her, or they are going to hate her. There’s no grey area with her. You’ll either love or hate her.

It’s hard to relate to Anna because she is so twisted and that’s what makes her uniquely dark. I feel her greatest strength is despite the darkness she has endured since she was a kid, she’s able to move forward and she has not let it defeat her.

Her weakness is of course her lack of self-worth and respect which causes her to be stuck in a cycle of abuse because she feels she can never be on her own and is ready to accept a love that is toxic rather than being alone to love herself.

 

TBE: Anna is very resilient and strong girl. Did you model her after anyone specific? Tell us a little about what makes her tick.

Ria Dutta: On the contrary, I would say Anna is weak, very weak, she always needs a shoulder to cry on and cannot be on her own. I’m not entirely sure how you found her to be strong. I’m really curious to know, can you tell me please ?

But towards the end, she does find strength and courage and I applaud her for that because it’s not easy to change your ways after so many years of being a certain way and being stuck in a pattern, you have to fight hard and be strong. So, yes Anna does become strong at the end, but essentially, she is a weak character, definitely the damsel in distress looking for someone else to save her, instead of having the strength to save herself.

She was not modelled after anyone in particular.

 

TBE: In many ways ‘Confessions of a Dyslexic Lover’ is an uplifting story that inspires hope, but it also highlights a social system with negative qualities. What do you hope is the main message that readers come away with after reading this book?

Ria Dutta: Yes, it highlights a social system that looks down and tries to tarnish the reputation and character of a woman even after she has been a victim of a heinous act. Unfortunately, several victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape don’t come forward because of the character assassination they might face.

From a social aspect, I want readers to never be afraid to speak up if they’ve been wronged in any way. Because there are movements like #metoo that have got their back and movies like Pink which give us some hope that justice will be served and the ones who have already been violated in terrible ways won’t have to be blamed for someone else’s inability to understand a simple word: NO.

 

TBE: What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

Ria Dutta: 1. LOVE AND RESPECT YOURSELF. KNOW YOUR SELF-WORTH. If you, don’t you will find yourself stuck in friendships and relationships where you’re not treated well.

2. Leave toxic relationships. Anything that entails, physical, emotional, mental, and verbal abuse, is not right. YOU DESERVE BETTER. Leave now and never look back. There’s something wonderful out there for you.

3. If you’ve been wronged in any way, be it domestic abuse (this can work both ways, men too have the right to press charges against women), sexual abuse. SPEAK UP. Don’t be afraid of the law, the perpetrator needs to be called out.

From the movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower: “We accept the love we think we deserve.”  Love yourself, so you can give and receive the best kind of love.

 

TBE: What resources do you use to research your book? Was the research difficult to find material for the story? How long did it take to finish the novel?

Ria Dutta: It took me about 10 months to conceptualize the story and write it. The psychology research was hard, took me quite a while. But the characters and the story just came to me, once I started to write. The resources were books, movies, news stories, and discussions with friends about love, loss, and relationships.

 

TBE: How was your publishing experience with Leadstart?

Ria Dutta: It was a great experience! Everyone at Leadstart was helpful, professional and friendly, and approachable. They all worked fast and promptly (in fact I’m the one who kept delaying deadlines!). But they never complained about that. They were a great publishing team to work with and I truly appreciate their help in making my dream of being a published author come true.

 

TBE: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your book with readers?

Ria Dutta: I hope that they enjoy reading the book and it helps them to overcome something that they’re battling with or they pass it along to a friend or loved one who they know may need a little help in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel because there is a light, they just have to open their eyes and look hard enough.

Nothing much to share about me. Just if anyone has read the book and wants to reach out, with some questions, or give me some critiques, please feel free to reach out on insta: @dutta_ria11

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