'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Saturday, 31 January 2015

12 Curly Questions with author R L Stedman

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I hate sewing! When I was growing up clothes were expensive, and girls were expected to make their own clothes. (Boys used to be able to buy them. Lucky boys) My mother, who loved sewing and couldn’t understand that I did not, sent me to a sewing class. It was run by a lady called Mrs Little and it was hideous, because Mrs Little had absolutely no sense of fashion or humour. I spent ages making an extremely ugly nightgown and in the end I failed the class because I could not make the stripes match.

By way of revenge I often have something about making clothes in my novels. In my first novel, A Necklace of Souls, my character hated embroidery. I thought I’d better do something different for Inner Fire, so in Inner Fire my character loved sewing. It was a bit of a stretch, writing that…

2. What is your nickname?
I don’t have one! My kids call me Muuuuum.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Spiders. And not being able to finish the book I’m currently working on.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Clarity, brevity and wit. And hopefully my writing is entertaining.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Organised, Methodical. Well-read. Dedicated. And I’m a fact-magpie. I collect interesting facts.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Hermione Granger. I love learning and am obsessive about books and getting things right. Plus, Hermione is super-intelligent.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
That’s a really hard question. I would like to travel ahead in time to 2115 to see what things are like in the future. Like, will we have hoverboards by then? (According to Back to the Future they’re supposed to be invented this year). Will people be able to sense wifi? Will we have internal modems that allow us to access the internet without a computer? How long do we live? How bad will climate change be? What sort of energy will we use?

Why would I like to travel to the future? I became very interested in future tech when I wrote Inner Fire, and I enjoyed exploring the contrast between my parent’s generation and my kids; how connectivity and technology have changed so many things, but the big things, like love and family really haven’t changed at all. I feel like Inner Fire could be summed up by the French phrase: Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose (the more things change the more they stay the same).  But I wonder if, in one hundred years, that will still hold true?

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Why do I need to learn to sew?

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My husband. He proofs all my books and makes helpful suggestions, which mostly I ignore.

10. What/who made you start writing?
My mother. She used to get us books out of the library all the time, and would spend way too much at the kid’s section at the bookshops. We had an account at Whitcoulls and Dad would freak out when the bill came each month.

11. What is yourfavourite word and why?
Obsessive. I like the s sounds…

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Collected Works of William Shakespeare. (This is kind of cheating, but as I do have it on my bookshelf as a single book it should count.)


Rachel L Stedman is an award-winning author from New Zealand. Her books includes the YA titles A Necklace of Souls and Inner Fire. You can find out more about Rachel's books and writing by visiting her website and Facebook page.

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