Name: Pat Quinn
Date of birth: 20 May 1947
Place of birth: Wellington
Now living in: Wellington
What is your favourite food?
Avocado; Asparagus; Cashew nuts
Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
My father called me 'Boodle'; I have no idea why…
What was your most embarrassing moment?
When I was in my early teens I had to get glasses, but I didn’t like wearing them, so when I went to a friend’s party I left my glasses at home. At supper time, I picked up a jug of cream, to pour some on to my fruit salad, and the boy standing next to me said (just in time), 'That’s mayonnaise - salad dressing.' I felt SOOOO stupid!
How do you relax?
I lie on my back and listen to cool music
Who inspired you when you were little?
My father, who used to make up stories for me; teachers who loved books.
What were you like at school?
Enthusiastic. I liked talking (which didn’t please the teachers), and learning (which sometimes did).
Favourite(s): English, because then I could write stories and Science because it was magic.
Most hated: the arithmetic part of Maths where you had to work out what time a train would get to a station, or how much wallpaper was needed to paper a room.
What was the book you most loved as a child?
The Enchanted Wood (and the other Faraway Tree stories) by Enid Blyton.
Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
Mrs Willis, my Year 7 and 8 teacher at Karori School.
Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
Why did you want to be a writer?
I like words.
Do you have a special place where you write your books?
I have an office at home (converted from a spare bedroom).
What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
Best thing(s): meeting people and doing things that I'd never even dreamed about (for example: becoming the drummer in a band)
Worst thing(s): when it’s lonely, tedious, boring or just Too Hard.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
A cabaret singer, or a healer of some sort.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read, read, read…
Write, write, write…
…and take time to look around you and smile.
This interview is from 2002.