Interview with Sarah Ell

Sarah Ell with her father, author Gordon EllName: Sarah Ell

Date of birth: 12 October 1970

Place of birth: Takapuna, Auckland

Now living in: Milford, Auckland

What is your favourite food?


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

No, luckily – lots of people involved in sailing get terrible nicknames, but I have escaped this!

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Being asked at a school visit (as an author) whether or not I dye my hair – and not knowing whether or not to tell the truth!

How do you relax?

Sailing, listening to music, reading the newspaper.

Book cover of SiroccoWho inspired you when you were little?

My father, who is also a writer.

What were you like at school?

Talkative – my reports would always say I talked too much!

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Favourite: Geography/Social Studies

Most hated: Maths/Physics

What was the book you most loved as a child?

The Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell

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

Captain Cook, an amazing adventurer.

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?

Children’s authors: Susan CooperPenelope LivelyL.M. Montgomery

Adult authors: Carl HiassenMaurice Shadbolt

Why did you want to be a writer?

Always making-up stories, over-active imagination!

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

My office at home – sunny, looks out on the garden.

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

Best: being able to make stuff up, live in another world.

Worst: discipline – books don’t write themselves!

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


Professional yachtsperson

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write about what interests you, what you feel is important/interesting. Keep going! Be observant. Read widely.

Read some books by Sarah Ell
More information about Sarah Ell

This interview is from 2002.

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