Born August 22nd 1979
Place of BirthAssam (Gauhati)
City of residenceHyderabad
- Big Bully And M-Me
- A lot of short stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Arti is passionate about writing, reading, Music and day dreaming. She believes in the motto whatever you do, do it with passion and then leave it for the universe to do its work.
She loves going for morning walks and listen to the birds chirping. Singing aloud in the car while driving and repetitively listening to her favourite songs brings her close to herself.
Hostel-style cooked Maggi tickles her taste buds and one of her favourite pastimes is to spend quality time with her child.
Arti Sonthalia has spent a lot many years in Mussoorie and loves the place; if not a writer she would have loved to have a café of her own with loottsssss of books in Mussoorie.
Fantastic Five – Five of my favourite books
Any Enid Blyton book They are warm and touch your heart in a way no book can.
The Million Dollar Shot – Dan Gutman An exciting, sporty book where you learn values of life through a well crafted story. Dan Gutman can make you laugh and still give an underlying message.
Frindle – Andrew Clements Frindle is a book in which the child learns to stand up for his own rights. A strong and fun book.
Being Teddy Roosevelt – Claudia Mills One of my favourites. Warm, soft characters that leave an everlasting effect on you. A fantastic read. (I have read it four times and can read it again).
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – Kate DiCamillo A vividly descriptive book with a rabbit as a protagonist..Leaves you craving for a longer journey with Edward Tulane.
Tell us about your earliest attempts at writing. When, where and from whom did you learn the nittygritties of writing?
I always had a diary in which I had my own stories, but that fizzled out with time. After a lot many years the desire to write burned again, and I happened to get an opportunity to write for the Chicken Soup for the Soul. My stories got selected back to back and that encouraged me to study further. I studied writing from Oxford School and London School of Journalism and then ventured into the children’s genre.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
Anything I have read, seen, if I feel the desire to write it, the story just starts to take shape and bingo I have it!.
What does your typical writing day look like?
I usually write once I am done with my daily chores as I can’t concentrate if something is ticking in. I usually write between 11:30 to 3:00 just before my kid is back from school I pack up.
What is one habit / trait of yours that makes you effective / productive as an author?
What is the one thing that you recommend every aspiring author should do?
Tell us something about yourself that very few people know?
I love chocolates!! Besides that I am a spiritually inclined person.
Does technology (the Internet, software tools) help you in your writing process? If yes, can you tell us about them?
I love my MacBook. It’s a boon to have it. Technology is a great thing if used well. The phone is a great tool to carry around and click pictures for research and note down things when you don’t have a pen and paper!
Is there any other way in which technology can help you in your work as writer?
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others? (include websites, blogs or Twitter profiles, etc).
My Guru has been the greatest source of inspiration to me. Without whom nothing would have been possible.
All the books I have read have been a great source of inspiration.
Anushka Ravishaknar of Duckbill is kind to new budding writers and gives them a great platform to start work.
Sue Moorcroft my mentor in LSJ was very helpful in her insights about writing. Frank Egerton my Tutor in Oxford helped me understand my writing and above all my teacher in M.I.S. Mr. Paul who created the love for English Literature in me.
Can you tell about what you are currently writing and other works in the pipeline?
I have another chapter book in the pipeline, which I still have to work on, which will only happen when the summer holidays are over!!!
Can you tell us more about your career journey from jewellery designing to writing children’s books? Is writing for a children a viable career choice?
Jewelery was never my passion I did it because, I just happened to do it, though it did bring me a lot of acclaim and awards. Writing on the other hand is a part of me which happens naturally, it gives me satisfaction to write a few words or even a few pages.
Writing as a career ummm… think twice; you are not gonna earn too much. 🙂 But if you love writing it wouldn’t matter!!
Bullying is a serious problem that several children face. How did you think of writing a book on it? Any first-hand experience?
Na! no experience in bullying, but a common problem faced in most schools. The idea was to inculcate the freedom of standing up for yourself and not be the bullied foreverrrrr and eternityyyyyy…
A couple of decades ago – most, if not all, stories for children had a moral. In the present day, we are at the other extreme, where some publishers do not accept stories with a message or moral. Do you face a dilemma on this ground while writing for children?
Not really because kids today are smart, intelligent and make out the difference wherein you are trying to teach them something which they do not want to know. Writers today have to be versatile in expressing their views and have an underlying message rather than a direct moral, and sometimes you just need to read for fun!! Feel good and forget about it!!
Find me at
Facebook: Arti Agarwal Sonthalia
PlusMinus’n’More: Thank you Arti, for being our guest on F-pages and sharing with us your experiences as a writer.