Deepali Junjappa AKA Dipu Darko is a story teller and believes she was born to spill dreams that have been festering inside for the last six hundred moons. After she completed her Masters in Creative Writing from Macquarie University Australia, Deepali worked for various newspapers, magazines and wrote many TV shows especially of the fantastical variety: Arslaan, Hatim and Suvreen Guggal being a few. When she’s not writing screenplays, she dabbles in stand-up comedy, listens to Ganesh Talkies and attends foot fetish parties in New York City.
How was your experience with the Juggernaut writing platform? What appealed to you best?
I think it’s a great space for both seasoned and emerging writers; where someone previously unknown can avail the unique opportunity to be read by a diverse audience. What appealed to me was that there are no hard and fast rules regarding the writing style and that gives more scope for diversification in terms of content. Personally, I feel, though I’m good with the long form I’m still exploring the short story format and this platform has given me that lucid chance.
What motivated you to start writing in the first place? What is your writing inspiration?
I believe in experiential writing and narrating stories with a dash of fantasy. I’m inspired by quirky characters.
How do positive or negative reviews influence your writing style?
Well, negative reviews do hurt initially and one tends to get a bit defensive towards their own writing but like everything else, things fall into perspective over time and then everything falls into place. Positive reviews are always overwhelming and gratifying for me.
Who are your favorite three authors and how do they make it to the top of your list?
I’m a big fan of Michael Ontajee, Kadzuo Ishiguro and lately Janice Pariat.
During my college years I happened to read ‘The English Patient’ by Michael Ontajee and ever since I’m struck by his language, form and sentence construction; every description from a cathedral to a dogs paw is ordained with exquisite details. Ishiguro brings magic to the mundane and enriches an ordinary situation with remarkable story telling elements. My favorite Ishiguro book is ‘Never Let me Go.’ I first picked up Janice Pariat’s ‘Boats on Land’ and loved the characters in her short stories, later when I read her novel ‘Sea Horse’ I was blown by her ability to transport the reader to multiple cities, places, realms and navigate each universe with such precision.
Often amateur writers get discouraged due to negative feedback. What would be your suggestion to them?
I think this would apply to most writers even the seasoned ones; that after finishing the final draft they should leave their writing aside for 6 weeks. This distance allows for greater perspective and then one can see their own writing with better depth and clarity.
According to you, what is the one most important quality that a writer needs to have? Apart from the love for writing of course!
Like every other profession, writers need to be committed and dedicated to their work. But looking back I think more than dedication, commitment and hardwork it’s vital to have a fertile imagination. One must never stop hallucinating!
Which is that one book which you can read over and over again? Why?
Amongst the many books that I go back to, one book that tears me to shreds everytime (because it’s absolutely hilarious) is William Sutcliffe’s debut novel ‘Are you experienced?’ I have that on my kindle and must have read it umpteen number of times.
You can read her book Boys I Forgot To Kiss here.