Name: Tanya Batt
Date of birth: 27 November 1970
Place of birth: Auckland
Now living in: Waiheke Island
- What is your favourite food?
- I love organic food. Favourites include brown rice, fish and vegetables, anything macrobiotic, and my neighbour Derek’s bananas.
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- I regularly do embarrassing things. It’s hard to pick one.
- How do you relax?
- Meditation, swimming, fishing, sitting in my tree house doing nothing.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- I was quite impressed by Basil Brush and Batman. I loved reading and would have liked to have been a Jedi knight. My great grandfather Jack did some pretty impressive magic tricks.
- What were you like at school?
- I went to 9 different schools. I liked going to school most days. I got in trouble for talking too much.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- I was very lucky because I had some great teachers who loved their work and so were inspired and inspiring themselves. I didn’t like Physical Education for a while because we had to wear a very horrible uniform. I had some great history teachers and I loved creative writing and art and singing on a Friday afternoon.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- The Giant Devil Dingo by Dick Roughsey an Australian aboriginal legend from the Cape York Peninsula about an old woman who was a cannibal who liked to use her huge dog to hunt boys!
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Umm tricky Buddha, Einstein, my great grandmother Flora Bell (I have some questions I’d like to ask her).
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- Too many good ones to choose only one. One of my most favourite books of late is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I’m not sure I ‘wanted’ to be a writer. For a while I wanted to be a racing car driver or, as I said before, a Jedi knight. I loved writing, so I guess that’s why: love.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- Yep in my head and on the backs of bits and pieces of paper, my computer and in my special book which somehow is never around when I need it.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- The best and worst things are the same. The best thing is creating something - which on some days proves to be the worst thing as well.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- I’m lucky I have a few different things I do performing, teaching, travelling. If I wasn’t writing, I’d just like to be happy doing something else.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Write about something you love. Don’t worry too much about spelling mistakes. Make words up; English is full of made up and borrowed words. A few more will fatten the dictionary.
This interview is from 2008.