JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Jutta Heitland, author of So You are Free.. Making it Home
In my book So You are Free.. Making it Home, I explore some questions which I find most interesting. These questions are:
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?
In So You are Free.. Making it Home, I reflect on what it is that we need to find our place in life. I approach the issue by exploring aspects of life such as curiosity, envy, pressure, friendship, love and death. Using my own story as the starting point, the questions about life are then followed by interviews I 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.
I am convinced that moving to different places shapes the personality. These people have something in common; their perspective on life is different from people who are staying at one place. Growing up and living in other cultures has an effect on life and many of these “travellers” wrestle with how they fit into this world.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write So You are Free.. Making it Home?
Jutta Heitland: In my childhood, we moved around quite often. I was born in Austria, but many years of my life I spent in Germany. I have visited almost all European countries and the United States, Canada and some Asian countries.
I have also lived several years with my family in New Zealand. There, I got to know many people who just feel as I do, these feelings of foreignness and having no place which we would call home.
I like this very much. For the first time, I have been in a country which is full of migrants. So I have to say that New Zealand inspired me and the people who live there.
JP: What sets So You are Free.. Making it Home apart from other books in the same genre?
J.H.: Well, So You are Free.. Making it Home is about Adult Third Culture Kids and living abroad. It’s also about coping with life in a general manner.
You can find books over books with these topics, and most of them are inspiring reads. My book is special because I conducted interviews with 12 people from different countries. I tried to just listen to them without assessment. They all tell their stories, and the reader can experience how these people cope with different topics of life.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to So You are Free.. Making it Home getting out to the public?
J.H.: Nowadays there are lots of ways to get out to the public. It’s all about networking, marketing and showing presence as often as possible. Nonetheless it’s a difficult process to get attention because there are lots of really good books on the market.
With eBooks, I think is a better chance to spread the word as they are a bit cheaper than paperbacks and people can download them without huge effort.
Do you know this saying: “There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs!” I really don’t need an elevator, but at least it’s nice to see the stairs.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish So You are Free.. Making it Home?
J.H.: I actually don’t have a ritual or a creative process. I need to be in the right mood for writing. I don’t need a special motivation; usually I just sit down and start to write. Mostly, I miss having enough time for writing as there are these daily obligations as working for a living and kids. You know?
All-in-all for So You are Free.. Making it Home, I needed with writing, editing and publishing more than one year.
JP: What’s next for Jutta Heitland?
J.H.: Right now, I am writing short stories. I hope to publish them by the end of this year. And I have more ideas. But as I said, there is currently not enough time.
Thank you very much for this opportunity, Joey! I really enjoyed this interview.