Interview with Phyllis Johnston

Phyllis JohnstonName: Phyllis Johnston

Date of birth: 14 October 1935

Place of birth: Morrinsville

Now living in: Tauranga

What is your favourite food?

Bread, fruit

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


What was your most embarrassing moment?

Mispronouncing antipodes - I called it anti-podes.

How do you relax?

Walking, reading

Who inspired you when you were little?

The stories of my parents

What were you like at school?

Average. I didn’t listen at times, thought of other things, and missed important parts.

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Favourite: English. Loved that.

Most hated: Maths. I never grasped it. Knew my times tables.

What was the book you most loved as a child?

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink.

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

My English teachers from High School.

Book Cover of Dead Man's DeeWho is your favourite author/children’s author?

I enjoy too many to count!

Why did you want to be a writer?

I cannot specifically say. I just had a writer’s 'eye' and 'ear'.

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

Yes. I now have a study, but wrote my first four books on the dining-room table.

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

The best thing is about being able to create.

The worst thing is trying to get published.

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

An artist - a French Impressionist artist - and an opera singer.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

To keep a diary, try and write most days and never give up!!

Read a short story by Phyllis Johnston
Read some books by Phyllis Johnston
More information about Phyllis Johnston

This interview is from 2002.

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