Interview with Julie Tulba, Author of The Dead Are Resting

12 Apr 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, The Dead Are Resting?

It’s a historical fiction novel set against the dual backdrops of 1930s/1940s Berlin, Germany and modern-day Pittsburgh. It’s by no means a book about the Holocaust; that’s only a small part. Rather, it’s more a book about family relationships and the lies people tell and the secrets they keep, all to keep that “delicate balance” going. It’s also set in Pittsburgh, a city not represented nearly enough in the literary world.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

The young adult historical fiction novelist Ann Rinaldi. I was obsessed with her books growing up and she definitely planted within me a lifelong love of the historical fiction genre.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

The author Jhumpa Lahiri. I first discovered her thanks to a required comparative literature course I took my first year of college when I was assigned her Pulitzer Prize winning work, The Interpreter of Maladies. She’s the genius behind crafting the most beautiful and eloquent short stories and I would want to know what led her to write short stories, as opposed to a novel? Does she find writing short stories more difficult than a novel? I’d also want to know if she would ever consider writing a historical fiction novel, perhaps one set in her ancestral homeland of India?

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love that there’s never any limits in terms of where your imagination can take you with the words you create on paper. 

What scene from The Dead Are Resting was your favorite to write?

As cliché as it sounds, the epilogue. It’s not that oh, here’s a happy ending for everyone, but more that the protagonist finally experiences closure regarding the shocking truth she uncovered concerning her family’s past that had thrown her very being into emotional chaos and tumult. As the creator of the story I personally felt this ending could not be more perfect, that this was THE ending.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Travel is one of my greatest loves in life (I’ve been to 33 countries on five continents) and so the quote by Susan Sontag is absolutely one of my favorites and one I definitely live by- “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

Julie Tulba is the author of the new book The Dead Are Resting

Connect with Julie Tulba

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