Name: Diane Hebley
Date of birth: Antediluvian
Place of birth: Hastings
Now living in: Taradale
With a husband, a grown-up daughter and two sons, and a baby granddaughter.
- What is your favourite food?
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- I’ve had too many to choose only one.
- How do you relax?
- Spending time dining, wining, chatting with family and friends. Reading, listening to classical music — quartets, trios, concertos, especially those featuring the cello. (My daughter plays the cello professionally, which delights me.)
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- Great swimmers of the day (I wanted to swim the English Channel) and writers of many books.
- What were you like at school?
- A bit of a rowdy rebel, though I loved learning and was involved with all sports at top levels and with musical activities, piano especially.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- My favourites were English language and literature, and French, Latin and later Greek language and literature, and History. I also loved Maths though I wasn’t as good at Maths as I was at other subjects.
My most hated subject was General Science when animals were cut up for observation.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. (My ponies were my great loves.)
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Shakespeare or Beethoven, but both would probably be overwhelming.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- I enjoy many authors’ works, but I’m always amazed by Margaret Mahy.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I wanted to explore experiences in New Zealand and share them with others.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- My home — at the computer, at the dining table, in bed.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best: Huge satisfaction when all goes well.
Worst: Huge frustration when it doesn't.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- A classical musician or a painter, though I haven’t the skills to be either.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Read, enjoy life’s experiences, write, read, enjoy life’s experiences, write, and write, and write…
This interview is from 2002.