Date of birth: 14 March 1968
Place of birth: Christchurch
Now living in: Dannevirke
- What is your favourite food?
- Anything Japanese
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- No, but when I was at University I had some flatmates who liked bursting into my room late at night and yelling, “Night, mare!”
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- Screaming with fright the first time my flatmates did this - I was in a deep sleep at the time.
- How do you relax?
- Tramping - needless to say I haven’t encountered any flash floods!
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- My parents, who read to us every night. I was also very lucky to have a lot of exceptional school teachers.
- What were you like at school?
- Quiet - not one of the cool crowd - which was good, because it was fun watching the cool crowd: whenever one of them came to school with something like a new pair of shoes,all the other cool people would have similar shoes within a couple of weeks.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Favourites were French, Latin and English.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- K. M. Peyton’s Flambards
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- My grandfather, Gus Spillane, who died when I was seven. He played two test matches for the All Blacks and I’d like to write a book about him.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- Margaret Mahy
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I love reading, so writing is a natural extension of that.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- I write at my computer, and edit in any sunny spot I can find. A lot of “writing” time is spent thinking about the story and characters - and I can do that anywhere.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- The best thing would be the excitement of a new idea for a story and the fun of seeing the characters and plot develop. The worst thing is editing - it is time-consuming and pretty boring, but it has to be done very carefully and thoroughly.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- I was a lawyer before my husband and I had children and that was pretty interesting, so I’d probably do work in the legal field.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Find a good writing buddy or mentor to encourage you, inspire you and guide you. And write about things that you care about - your stories will reflect your passion.
This interview is from 2006.