Name: Margaret Andrew
Date of birth: 3 December 1932
Place of birth: Dunedin
Now living in: Dunedin
- What is your favourite food?
- Fruit and nuts; salads (I am a vegetarian).
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- Maggie and Meg.
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- Being asked to sing by myself in front of the class (nine years old).
- How do you relax?
- I walk dogs. As a younger person I rode horses I exercised race horses too. I also listen to classical music.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- My father, who told me stories and gave me books.
- What were you like at school?
- Very shy. I sat at the back of the room by a window and watched the clouds go by. Found lessons hard to concentrate on.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- I loved Art and bush/nature walks. Switched off Maths because I did not understand it (I did not hate it).
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- Ferdinand the Bull, by Munro Leaf.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Saint Francis of Assisi he gave up a comfortable life to help the poor and he loved animals and birds.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- No favourite I read everything, especially travel and adventure stories.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- Have always had the desire to write. I write stories in my head have a pad and pencil ready!
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- Yes - at a table, usually early in the morning. I also write straight onto a computer. I often write on a pad or scrap of paper put ideas down.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best thing: the royalty cheque is a great thing!
Worst thing: you are only paid once a year or sometimes twice!
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- A painter - I love to paint and have done one book with my own illustrations Kelly the King and Mick Gentoo.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Keep your stories to yourself. Write your letter to publishers very brief and to the point. “I am submitting the enclosed story for your consideration…” Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Do not give up! Publishers get many stories a year. They are looking for something original. Always keep to the subject. When writing ‘lost’ stories bring your hero home!
Persist, persist and persist!
This interview is from 2002.