Name: Rachel McAlpine
Date of birth: 24 February 1940
Place of birth: Fairlie
Now living in: Wellington
- What is your favourite food?
- Veges, all veges, especially raw or stir-fried.
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- When I was a (very) young teacher at Christchurch Girls' High School, I tripped and fell down the stairs in front of dozens of pupils. I was touched when I stood up and saw that nobody was laughing - they all looked genuinely concerned.
- How do you relax?
- In my Japanese bath, up to my neck with a good book.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- My mother and father. One bold, beautiful and original; the other a loving man of complete integrity.
- What were you like at school?
- In primary school, "a happy bubbly normal little girl". At high school, similar but privately and constantly worried because I always forgot some of my homework.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- I loved all subjects especially English but was extremely puzzled by Maths and Science.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- Margaret Mahy
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I couldn’t help it.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- At my computer and in bed - I need both.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best: A high! Joy in the doing. It’s the best fun.
Worst: All worst moments gradually evolve into important challenges, and so, more fun.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- A singer or an artist.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Just do it. When in doubt, write more, rewrite, write again, and the fun returns.
This interview is from 2002.