Interview with Pamela Allen

Cover of Who Sank The Boat?Name: Pamela Allen

Date of birth: 3 April 1934

Place of birth: Devonport, Auckland

Now living in: Auckland

What is your favourite food?

I love stewed tamarillos (tree tomatoes when I was little).

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


What was your most embarrassing moment?

Can’t tell you - it’s too embarrassing.

How do you relax?

Sleep. I love it.

Who inspired you when you were little?

I can’t remember being inspired. I don’t think we used the word.

What were you like at school?

I think I was very ordinary.

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

I was good at "drawring".

What was the book you most loved as a child?

I remember crying over Peter Rabbit, opens a new window (by Beatrix Potter).

Cover of Nana's ColoursWhich person from the past would you most like to meet?

My great grandfather. He was left an orphan as a little boy and through his own efforts ended up owning a printing business.

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?

Margaret Mahy, opens a new window.

Why did you want to be a writer?

I thought I could be an illustrator then I discovered I could write - I was a writer because I found I could do it.

Do you have a special place where you write your books?

Yes. I have a separate building now in the bush - I call it "my space."

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

The worst thing is that you can feel very alone.

The best thing is you can make children laugh.

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

I wanted to be a potter (in the 1950’s in NZ).

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you want to be a writer - Read. Read until you recognize a good book. Then don’t give up too easily.

Read some books by Pamela Allen, opens a new window
More information about Pamela Allen, opens a new window

This interview is from 2002.

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