Interview with Pat Quinn

Pat QuinnName: 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).

Book Cover of DragorWhat was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

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?

Margaret Mahy, opens a new window.

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.

Read a short story by Pat Quinn
Read some books by Pat Quinn
More information about Pat Quinn

This interview is from 2002.

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