Interview with Frances Cherry

Frances CherryName: Frances Cherry

Date of birth: 25 November 1937

Place of birth: Wellington

Now living in: Paekakariki

What is your favourite food?

Chicken, lots of salads and raw fruit.

Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?


What was your most embarrassing moment?

When I was a teenager, seeing my Communist mother standing on a soapbox in Courtenay Place, Wellington, making a speech.

How do you relax?

Reading, watching good drama on TV, having dinner with friends.

Who inspired you when you were little?

The writer Jack London - (and my mother).

What were you like at school?

Very shy at primary school. A clown at secondary school, I didn’t work, just acted the fool - though I loved my English teacher.

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Favourite: English, especially writing stories, also art.

Most hated: Maths.

What was the book you most loved as a child?

Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain.

Which person from the past would you most like to meet?

The writer Carson McCullers.

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?

Adult author: Ian McEwan

Children’s author: John Marsden.

Why did you want to be a writer?

I loved becoming other people and living in worlds I had created. When I was at primary school I made up a girl called Beverley Donnelly. She lived in the sort of house I wanted to live in. I told my sister elaborate details of Beverley’s life and my sister was never sure if I was telling the truth or not. When I write I can be any age or any person I want to be, even a murderer.

Book Cover of LeonDo you have a special place where you write your books?

Upstairs on the mezzanine floor at my computer.

What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?

Best: Having a book accepted by a publisher and then getting good feedback from readers.

Worst: Being rejected, worrying about reviews.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?

An artist and an actor.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Go to a writer’s workshop, be prepared to take criticism, don’t be defensive about your writing. Do it! Don’t talk about it. Be disciplined, sit on your bum for several hours a day, and do it!

Read a short story written by Frances Cherry
Read some books by Frances Cherry
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