When I was 14, I was the pianist in a band called Zenith. We were not good!
2. What is your nickname?
Mostly Pen, although my little girl sometimes calls me Mama Bear.
3. What is your greatest fear?I'm absolutely terrified of the ocean (and drawn to it at the same time).
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Whimsical, lyrical, evocative and uplifting - at least, I hope so!
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Persistent, spontaneous, passionate, redrafter, daydreamer (that's my positive word for procrastinating!)
6. What book character would you be, and why?
I always wanted to be Anne, from Anne of Green Gables. She's joyful and imaginative and forthright. And she gets to live on Prince Edward Island.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Lately, I've been trying to practise mindfulness, which is all about focusing on the present moment, so I'd better stick with the here and now. Although I do love the idea of spending some time in the sixties.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
I was painfully shy when I was 10 and couldn't say boo to a goose (let alone a grown-up) so probably nothing!
9. Who is your greatest influence?
There have been so many writers, journalists, poets, gardeners, musicians, artists and activists who have influenced me over the years - I don't think I could pick just one!
10. What/who inspired you to start writing?
I'd have to say my mum, who read to us every night, fed us books and newspapers and poetry, bought me journals to write in, and encouraged a love of language and a strong sense of social justice.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Flibbertigibbet - because it's so much fun to say and I think, sometimes, there can be a bit of the flibbertigibbet in me.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My Brilliant Career. No wait, To Kill A Mockingbird. Ooh, The Secret Garden! Ugh, too hard.
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