The very kind and talented Brian S. Creek (check out his blog, ladies and gentlefolk) nominated me for a Liebster Award just before Christmas. Now, things have been sort of all over the shop for me since then, and so this is the first chance I’m getting to address the questions asked of me. Also, it’s true that this nomination makes my third (count ’em!) Liebster nomination, and so, at this stage, there’s probably very little left about me that y’all don’t know.
But, nevertheless, let’s give these here questions a shot. Ready? Buckle up!
If you could have any super power for a day, what would it be?
I’ve often thought about this question, and I remember answering it before in terms of how I’d love to have the words to solve all arguments, without causing anyone any offence. I’d still love to have that power, but I think – given the world we live in, and the events of recent times, and my feelings of utter helplessness in the face of all of it – that I’d quite like to be a version of a human Care Bear, or something. I’d love to have the power to spread love and compassion throughout the world, and to make everyone think first of others, and then themselves. I’d love to be able to make people see the world from the point of view of another person. That would be an amazing superpower – except, to have any effect, I’d have to have it for a lot longer than one day.
One day would be a start, though.
Who is the most famous person you’ve met?
So, if you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you’ll know about this. I reckon Neil Gaiman is probably the most famous person I’ve ‘met’, if squeaking at an author at a book signing counts as ‘meeting.’ Besides that, I’ve met a President (of Ireland, so not as cool as some other presidents), and I almost met the Princess Royal once (that’s Princess Anne, Her Majesty the Queen’s daughter, for those not in the know). I was in the same room as her and breathed the same air, but didn’t quite get to shake the royal gloved hand. Oh, well.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Argh, you see? One of these ‘impossible to answer’ questions. I’d love to live in Reykjavík, just because I’ve been in love with it, and with Iceland, all my life. I’d love to live on Svalbard. I want to live in Tromso. I would love to live in Paris, because I adore that city. I’d love to live in Dubrovnik, because it’s beautiful (and old). I’d love to live in the middle of nowhere in the wilderness of northern Canada. I’d love to live in Tasmania, because one of my favourite people in the world is there.
So I guess I should probably say I’m happy where I am. *sigh*
What was the first story you can remember writing?
I had a great teacher in primary school named Mrs Mythen. I loved her, and she – I’m pretty sure – was fond of me, too. She knew I loved English and writing, and that whenever the class had a spelling- or writing-related task to complete, that I’d be done before the others, and so she used to give me extra work to keep me quiet. We used to write little stories together, and we used also to write poems together, where I’d write one verse and the teacher would write another, and so on. One of these poems was about a witch and her overflowing cauldron, I remember, and it was lots of fun. It also got me used to taking criticism – Mrs Mythen was a hard taskmistress!
I’ve talked before about how my first ‘story’ was a sequel to The Little Prince, and this is true, but upon giving the question some serious consideration this morning, I think perhaps my witchy poem was earlier. I’d have been about six years old, maybe.
Which book do you wish you’d written and why?
I’d love to be facetious here and say ‘The Little Red Book’ or ‘The Bible’ (because sales, darnit), but no. I wish I’d written so many books (the Earthsea books, The Dark is Rising sequence, basically anything by Neil Gaiman and/or Jeanette Winterson), so I’ll say this: I wish I’d written my own next book. I hope to always have ideas, and the space in my mind to complete them, and the peace in my heart to do them justice, and so I’ll always wish to have written the book I’m currently working on to the best of my ability, just to have to opportunity to move on to the next.
If you could write a sequel to a movie that doesn’t already have one how would it go?
This is easy. I’d write a sequel to Labyrinth where I was Sarah, and I’d fight my way to the goblin city just so I could sweep Jareth the Goblin King off his booted feet. Mrs Goblin King has a ring to it, right?
If you could be on a writing panel with three other authors, who would they be?
Good question. I guess it depends what sort of writing panel we’re talking about: if it was a kidlit writing panel, then I’d choose Frances Hardinge, Alan Garner (even though he doesn’t technically write for children, apparently) and Catherine Fisher. If it was an SF/fantasy writing panel, it’d be unlikely I’d be asked, but I’d choose Ursula leGuin, Neil Gaiman and the late, lamented Robert Holdstock.
You’re given a time travel device that allows only one time jump. What date do you go to?
I’d love to say Chaucerian London, but I know I’d last about three seconds in the mud and dirt and ordure, so I wouldn’t want to go there and have no way of getting back. In fact, I don’t like going anywhere without a clear escape plan, so this question is giving me the sweats.
Let’s say I choose ‘tomorrow’, and leave it at that. (Phew!)
What’s your biggest regret to date?
My regrets are mainly for stuff I didn’t do, rather than things I did. I have fallen out with friends, which I regret terribly, and I didn’t say something to someone when I could have which might have changed the course of their life entirely – but then, things have worked out extremely well for that person, regardless, so maybe things happened just as they were supposed to. I find it very hard to forgive myself for ‘failings’, so I try to live my life regret-free as far as possible. It’s just neater that way.
If you could live in any fictional world (filmed or written) where would it be?
Another question I’ve often thought about. I love Hobbiton (because who doesn’t?) and Lothlorien, either the filmed or written versions, but actually I think I’d love to live in the world of Star Trek. Post-money, post-race, post-gender discrimination, the entire galaxy working for peace and reconciliation, and on top of all that we get to fly spaceships and use ray guns? Sign me up, Scotty.
What are your goals for 2015?
To look after my health; to spend more time with my family; to stop beating myself up psychologically (hahaha!); to write as often as I can and as well as I can; to work very hard on a particular project and bring it in on time; to work on being as happy as I can be; to work on being the best person I can be, for everyone I love (and everyone else!)
So, those are the answers to the 11 fiendish questions posed by Brian. I’m not going to tag anyone, mainly because everyone I know who’d be interested in doing a Liebster post has already been Liebstered, repeatedly, but if you fancy taking a punt at these questions, have at it. Just make sure to link back here so I can check out your answers! Thank you, Brian, for including me in your nominations, and I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me a little better.
Happy Monday, everybody – may your week be wordy and bright!