Amber and I are happy to have this opportunity to chat to Jutta Heitland, author of “So you are free… making it home.”
First of all, thank you Lisa and Amber for inviting me to your blog. That means a lot to me!
Guten Tag. Willkommen Jutta Can you tell us a little about your book?
I have published one book so far. The book title is “So you are free … making it home”. This book is non-fiction and I try to work out what we need to find the right place in life. I wrote about my own experiences and I conducted interviews with people from different countries and asked them about their view on life.
Right now I am working on some short stories which I can hopefully publish by the end of this year.
Your book must be very relevant to you because you have called many places “home”. Where do you currently reside?
Currently I am living in Hildesheim which is a beautiful town in Northern Germany. Six months ago we moved from Wellington to Hildesheim. We are a family of four, my husband, two teenage kids and me. The move from New Zealand to Germany was a big step for us and we are still trying to readjust and cope with our new lives here. I am also working as a social worker which means that my time for writing is never enough.
I know you have one book published “So you are free … making it home”, what is your current project?
Currently I am working on some short stories about people and their daily lives.
I am most interested in people and their thoughts, so I think the best thing is just to write about them.
What are your timelines for your current work?
All in all for my first book I needed with writing, editing and publishing more than one year. But I wrote that book in New Zealand, I had another life there. Now I am working and I have still family tasks, it is way harder now to follow through and finish up things.
How long have you been writing and what originally triggered that decision?
Actually writing was never a conscious decision for me; I just had for many years the feeling that I should do it. And so I did.
Has it been easier or harder to get a story “idea” out of your head than you imagined?
Harder, definitely harder. Having an idea is not the problem but then to fix it all on paper is the main work.
As you have one book published, does the actual writing process get easier over time?
Yes, it is getting easier over time. The whole writing process is familiar to you and you have now proved that you have some writing experience that can give you a push forward into the right direction.
What are your hopes/dreams/expectations for your body of work?
I am writing very much for myself but I like the idea that many people are reading my work and maybe they find some answers in my books. You know, I am also a social worker and it is the old dream of every social worker, this “making the world a bit friendlier”. With books people can relax, taking on other roles and maybe finding another perspective. If my book can only fulfil one of these dreams it would be gorgeous.
I know you are currently working on short stories, can you tell us a little about one of your characters?
The first book I have written is nonfiction. But now I am writing short stories. These characters are fiction but they are acting quite realistically. These people I created could be one of us; yes actually it could be you! I think it is exciting to read about characters that are just like you and me. They could be real but they aren’t. I like that feeling of looking in a mirror and finding something I wouldn’t have expected before.
Sounds intriguing! What is the best thing about writing?
Immersing in another world. While I am writing I am not in this world anymore. Even when I am writing nonfiction, I completely can forget my environment and I think this is not too bad sometimes.
Love that answer! I can relate What do you find the most challenging?
Most challenging is for me to find the time for writing between all the daily obligations. But writing is not the only challenge; after the book is finished there is more to do, things like marketing, promoting, networking. Meanwhile I think writing is really pleasant, but the hard work is afterwards.
Many people who read our blog are new writers. What are some of the key things you have learnt about the writer’s journey you can share with us?
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams! For some reason some people have the desire to write. And why not? It doesn’t hurt but it can make happy!
Good answer What helps you get into the writing “zone”?
No, no there is no help I need. I sit down and start writing, that’s all about it.
How do you mentally flick between work/life into the world of your imagination?
The idea is to focus on things and figure out what is important right now. You have to be disciplined too and not distracted.
Why should people read your book, “So you are free … making it home”
Are you interested in questions about life? Where can you find the right place in life? What is it that defines us as humans? Do you like interviews? If you can answer one of these questions with “yes” then this book is right for you!
Don’t hesitate, take your chance and read something outstanding: “So you are free … making it home”
Let’s check out your book blurb and cover:
Book blurb: SO YOU ARE FREE … MAKING IT HOME
What is home? How do we cope with feelings of foreignness? What is it that defines us as humans? What do we need to feel at home?
These are some of the questions Jutta Heitland explores in her book “So You Are Free … Making it Home”.
Jutta Heitland was born in Austria, grew up in Germany, lived in New Zealand and now resides back in Germany. In the book, she reflects on what it is that we need to find our place in life. She approaches the issue by exploring aspects of life such as curiosity, envy, pressure, friendship, love and death. Using her own story as the starting point, the questions about life are then followed by interviews she conducted with twelve people from different countries. They talk about their view of life with great frankness, so the abstract ideas in the first half are illustrated by practical examples and personal insights.
“So You Are Free … Making it Home” is a book about life. It is not only an enjoyable read, but will also strike a chord with anyone on their own quest for answers. The book is intended to stimulate discussion, questioning and ongoing self-reflection.
How can our readers find out more about you?
Jutta, ich danke Ihnen für Ihre Zeit heute.
Thanks so much for spending some time with us
Lisa & Amber