Name: Leonie Agnew
Place of birth: Auckland
Now living in: Auckland
- What is your favourite food?
- Potato salad and chocolate. (But not together.)
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- Lele, Lones, and Lonestar. (I cannot justify them. They are what they are.) Most people just call me Leonie!
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- Oh, so many stories, so little time. I once got stage fright in front of the entire school, when I was eight. Someone had to take me off the stage.
- How do you relax?
- Like most people – watching TV, movies, hanging out with friends, reading, music.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- This is weird, but I can’t think of anyone. I vaguely recall being impressed by Mother Theresa, but I haven’t followed in her footsteps. Not enough lepers in the streets of New Zealand, I guess.
- What were you like at school?
- Talkative with a short attention span.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Loved creative writing, hated maths and P.E. These days maths is taught better, using materials. I could visualise ideas but never numbers.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- There’s not enough space! I read a lot, my top favourites were Ramona The Pest, The Three Investigators, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Anne of Green Gablesopens a new window, Little House on The Prairieopens a new window, the original version of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Mary Poppinsopens a new window, Heidiopens a new window, The Half Men of O, Peter Panopens a new window, The Princess Bride, The Prince and the Pauper, the C.S. Lewis series and anything by Roald Dahlopens a new window.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Roald Dahlopens a new window…in a good mood.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- I have several but top of mind are: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Patrick Ness, Margaret Mahyopens a new window, Roald Dahl and James Norcliffeopens a new window.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- You mean I had a choice? Wow. No one told me that. I should’ve been an accountant, the pay’s way better.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- My local public library, in the far left corner. There’s a view of the ocean and well, it just works.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best thing: the stuff inside my head becomes real, the second it hits the page. Other highlights include the first time you see your book and the moment you know you’ve got a good idea.
Worst thing: when it’s just not working and you’re not sure why. Oh, that dark spiral of doom.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- Easy, I would want to be a writer. If this profession was somehow banned and I was forced, at knife point, to choose a different one, well… a screen writer. I love movies.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers or illustrators?
- Write, read and don’t give up. It’s that simple and that hard. Also look into workshops and get useful feedback on your writing.
This interview is from 2013.