about me
about me since you asked
Rilla Jaggia  

When I grow up, I want to be:

A farmer, an air-stewardess, an astronaut, a theoretical physicist, an artist, a doctor, a video-game programmer, a 3-D animator, a wildlife photographer, Jane Goodall, a veterinarian, a pilot, a trapeze artist, an anthropologist, a movie-star, a marine-biologist, and...a writer.

Note: All content on this website © 2009 Rilla Jaggia and may not be reproduced. All Rights Reserved.


When I'm not busy dressing up friends' pets in silly outfits...

I am an author, and write Young Adult and Middle Grade novels and short stories, both fantasy and contemporary.

I am the editor of Kite Tales the newsletter for the
SCBWI Tri-Regions of Southern California

SCBWI = Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

I live in Southern California with my husband and two cats.

    rough beginnings

I was born in the capital city of the largest democracy on the planet with two irrefutable signs of greatness--untameable hair and a permanent frown.



Right from the beginning, my brother tortured me...and I learned how to fight back.



Life wasn't all black and white, but by my first brithday, I had a few likes sorted out. Cake was not one of them. I HATED CAKE--period! Pass the bread, please.

I couldn't stand dresses either, but soap boxes and stages were a whole different matter...

...and I was perfectly happy being in the entertainment business, especially when it included famous people.




In my tween/teen/YA years, I never tired of limelight and make-believe. I acted, sang, compered, presented on the radio, danced....

Although I got taken on many a ride, I did enjoy the ones that involved--horses, camels, elephants, my bicycle, rickshaws, ferris wheels, roller coasters, tongas, bullock carts, trains, airplanes.

But most of all...

...I was about the biggest bookworm, ever.

Don't believe me?

Get a load of my honking, ginormous glasses. That's what comes of reading with a flashlight under a blanket, or more often than not...forgetting the flashlight altogether. How do you explain needing that many batteries to the parents? I read Enid Blyton and Georgette Heyer in the bathroom, Victoria Holt and Barbara Cartland under the bedcovers, Charles Dickens, Tagore, and Shakespeare in the living room, Rosemary Sutcliff and JRR Tolkien under the lid of my desk at school, Tintin and Amar Chitra Katha between the pages of my text while "doing homework..."

I read for inspiration. I read to escape my way too boring life. I read when I needed help making sense of the world. I read because there was nothing more exciting than to travel to a different country/planet/time and be someone else

--to fight dragons and win, solve crimes, have adventures, fall in love, fly.

I did not write when I was a child. I was too intimidated by the creative people around me. My father was the consummate storyteller and had a passion for Urdu poetry. My mother is a linguist, musician, and poet, with a penchant for Puritanical perfection.

My brother grabbed all the looks and smarts the family genes had on offer. He came first, he called dibbs. I ended up with the short end of the stick, only it was fat and frumpy too, and came gift-wrapped in honking, ginormous glasses.

My hair stopped standing straight up on my head. I realized I was not destined for greatness, after all. My best bet was to live vicariously through the stories I read.

Moral of this fable--If you don't have a life, read about someone else's, real or imagined.

You'll forget you're having a fat, frumpy day.

Yes, I was a typical teenager addled by angst.

Are you feeling sorry for me yet?

    education -- Click for information on my professional background

Note: All content on this website © 2009 Rilla Jaggia and may not be reproduced. All Rights Reserved.
WHERE? New Delhi, India -- Back

WHO? Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India with Zakir Hussain the President of India -- Back