Author Interview- Arka Datta

Arka Datta


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Let’s start with what the author has to say about himself. (Credit-Goodreads)

Arka Datta is an award-losing fiction writer from Kolkata, India. He had stumbled upon writing while chasing his dream of becoming an alien tamer, then an astronaut, then an astrophysicist, then a mathematician, then a painter, then an animator, and finally a web content developer. Since discovering his love for storytelling, he has only written short stories and a novel. He has been published by multiple reputed publishers, like Penguin India, StoryMirror, HBB, and numerous literary web portals. 

Arka Datta loves movies that haven’t been made from any book and reading books that haven’t been turned into movies. He is a firm believer in global warming, freedom of speech, equality among all people, and the importance of taste over nutrition (without failing to understand the cruelty of that statement). He loves his sick abs but will sacrifice them if it ever comes between them and food. He is a terrible dancer and used to be greatly self-loathing. 

It’s very difficult to know anything else about him as he keeps his real-self hidden masterfully. In fact, all the above information might be partially or entirely false. 


I got a chance to read his book- A Team of Extraordinary Bastards. Here’s my review.

It was good to talk to Arka- a conversation that was professional yet friendly. Here’s what I learned in the process:

  • Has the plot been any way inspired by your life? Or maybe someone you know?

Some years ago, there was a news report published in a national paper about a team of young boys from Kolkata’s red-light district who were sent to Europe to participate in a competition. That report has inspired my plot.

  • The book talks of both Glory and Sufferings. Did you know the end when you started the book?

I did have an idea. The curve of the story, including the middle and the ending, was pre-decided. The story between them had developed during the process of writing the novel.

  • How long did you take to finish this novel?

I had taken me 368 days exactly. I remember because I was so sad that there were three extra days.

  • What kept you going?

Multiple things! For one thing, I was so excited to tell the story, and that’s one of the most powerful drives a novelist can have. There was also this funny thing: During writing the novel, I had developed a crush on someone and I had named a character after her. However, that character wouldn’t take her entry before 2/3rd of the story. I wanted to write about the character I had named after her, so I wanted to reach there faster. That worked!

  • What are your hobbies, other than Writing and Football?

Food, more than anything else. And, I mean eating it, making it, watching videos about it, and looking at pictures of it, the whole deal. I am also fond of cricket, cinemas, and books.

  • Is there a book you are working on currently?

Yes, I am working on a fictional travel journal. I am hoping to finish it by the end of the year.

  • One book you want everyone to read?

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy was the book that had made me realize what I wanted to be in life. So, of course, I recommend it to everyone.

Also, if you are a creative person then I will request you to read the Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. You know how some people have soul mates? Well, this book is my soul book. It has changed my life.

  • Word of advice to the young writers out there?

My advice to anyone, who is contemplating about writing a novel, would be that don’t look for shortcuts. Writing a novel is mostly about figuring things out on the go. Dedicating yourself completely into it is the only way to do it.  Also, it’s completely natural to lose your way in the middle. Don’t let it torture you. It always works out somehow.

  • Where do you see yourself in say, 10 years?

Being interviewed by you for my 6th novel, hopefully!


Well, thank you. It’s been a nice journey and I hope that we cross paths again.

In the mean-time you can visit Arka’s blog – Art of Getting By.

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