Name: Heather McQuillan
Date of birth: June a rather long time ago
Place of birth: Kent, England
Now living in: Sumner, Christchurch
- What is your favourite food?
- Fresh tropical fruits with coconut cream.
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- No nickname, although someone once called me Her Majesty, because of my initials, and I rather liked that!
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- It is too embarrassing to say… that’s the point of most embarrassing moments!
- How do you relax?
- Read and walk on the beach but not at the same time as that could be dangerous.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- My Mum, she used to put on puppet shows and turn books into plays. She was a creative person with a great sense of humour.
- What were you like at school?
- A daydreamer. My teacher in Form 1 and 2 used to say
Come hither, Heatherwhenever I was inattentive.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Favourite was English and I really didn’t enjoy much about PE, although I did like playing cricket and doing the high jump.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- The Country Child by Alison Uttley.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Charles Dickensopens a new window (and a cast of his characters).
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- At the moment Garth Nixopens a new window and David Walliamsopens a new window for children’s books and Margaret Atwoodopens a new window and David Mitchellopens a new window for adult books but I read a lot of different books and have lots and lots of favourites.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- Because I have a head full of stories that keep me awake at night if I don’t write them down. I need some sleep.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- I have a marvellous study up a spiral staircase with a view of the ocean and of the mountains. It is a very special place.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best thing is when a story turns out really well (then I skip down the spiral staircase) and the worst thing is getting a publisher’s rejection letter — they are always polite but still very disappointing.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- A film director or a police detective.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Write in lots of different ways. Try out stories and poems and plays and lists and letters.
- Revise your work once you have all your ideas down so that you can make it as good as it can be - learn to enjoy doing this - you’ll be doing it a lot!
- Don’t be afraid of showing your work to others and if they don’t like it, show it to someone else.
This interview is from 2013.