Interview with Penelope Todd

Penelope ToddName: Penelope Todd

Date of birth: 1958

Place of birth: Christchurch

Now living in: Dunedin

What is your favourite food?

Coriander. Pineapple lumps.

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

No, but I often get called Mum.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I remember flushing the loo on my uncle’s boat the wrong way (carelessly…) and breaking it. Trouble was we were sailing off Fiji and the boat had to be docked until a new and expensive part could be flown out from Auckland…

How do you relax?

I’m relaxed most of the time. If I need more I read or go to sleep.

Who inspired you when you were little?

My four strong horse-riding girl cousins from Makarora.

What were you like at school?


Book Cover of Three's A Crowd, opens a new windowWhat was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Favourite: Year Eight cooking

Most hated: Year Eight sewing

What was the book you most loved as a child?

My friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara - the only book/s I read twice.

Which person from the past would you most like to meet?

Jesus, to clarify a few, no alot of, things.

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?

Adult: Margaret Atwood’s hard to beat. And Maurice Gee, opens a new window.

Children's: a few NZ writers, David AlmondPhilip Pullman.

Why did you want to be a writer?

To say all the things that'd been composting/unsaid for forty years.

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

The sunroom’s the place. It’s everybody’s space but when they go to school it’s mine.

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

Best: finding things out as I write, feeling solider and realer because of it.

Worst: getting stuck or distracted or discouraged.

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

A postie or tramping track guide or sweet shop attendant or puppy exerciser.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Just do it.

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This interview is from 2005.

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