Okay, this time not a totally random selection of questions. These are writing questions, from an article
titled ‘50 Brilliant, Original Questions to ask an Author’, even if the author does say so themselves. I’m not going to answer all 50 now, so again I’ll be using a random number generator to pick 5 or so at a time.
How do you select the names of your characters?
If it doesn’t just come to me, I do actually search through baby name sites for ideas, often narrowing it down by meaning or ethnicity.
What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
Probably any author I was forced to read at school, but usually if I reread them as an adult I appreciate them more. Also I never used to care much for Neil Gaiman, but he’s one of my favorites now.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I pretty much write all characters the same way – by thinking about their background, experiences and realtionships and from there working out how they react to a situation. The stories I write are mostly sci-fi or fantasy mystery and adventure, so I don’t try to write about what it’s actually like to be a woman trying to succeed in the high-end of business, for example, but when it comes to facing off against genetically engineered creatures with 100x human strength, sex or gender is really kind of incidental.
What period of your life do you find you write about most often?
Hmm… the characters I’m writing now are either adults or children. Maybe that’s because I hated being a teenager myself so now I deny they exist, or maybe it’s just a coincidence.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I read Roald Dahl quite a lot. Charlotte’s Web I remember quite well as well.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH I suppose had the most influence on me. I’m not sure if I read the book or saw the animation first – I think we did both in school.