Name: Pauline Cartwright
Date of birth: 14 July 1944
Place of birth: Lawrence, Otago
Now living in: Alexandra, Central Otago
- What is your favourite food?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- One - if not the most - was when a large woman with whom I was boarding gave one of her great guffaws as her large family and I sat round the table. Her false teeth shot out and skidded the length of the long formica table. Long after everyone else had stopped, I couldn’t stop laughing.
- How do you relax?
- Reading, walking, time with friends
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- Beautiful things, warm people, books, oral stories from respected people (my Dad through to the famous), the natural world.
- What were you like at school?
- I was often seated at the front - for talking too much. I didn't, and still don't, like maths. I disliked the sport we did, loved poetry, art, nature study and later English and typing because I wanted to be a writer.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Favourite: Nature study (equivalent to only a portion of today’s science).
Most hated: Mathematics.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- The Magic Trumpet, by Elizabeth and Mary Durack - at nine years.
The Anne books and the Emily books, by L.M. Montgomery - at ten,eleven years
And a progression of others from Paul Gallico to Noel Streatfeild.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- As in childhood, I keep making new discoveries. So no favourite but many I love.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I don’t know. Something to do with a genetic something that dictated I should love words, and influences in the family like Dad, a storyteller, and Mum, a reader.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- Yes. I have a room I call my study, only occasionally used as a spare bedroom, in which I have all the tools of my trade and the knowledge that half-finished work will remain undisturbed until I return to it.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best: Being finished! i.e each bit of work, large or small. It’s a great feeling of having accomplished something difficult.
Worst: Having to learn to project a 'public side'.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- Someone that travelled a lot. Perhaps a photographer of people and places.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Consider criticism and learn by it.
This interview is from 2002.