The interviewed: Fiona Farrell is a writer of many genres mostly for an adult audience; her first book (poetry) was Cutting Out (1987) and her latest book (Christchurch earthquake poetry) is The Broken Book (2011). She has won many awards for her books, some of them are: 1982 Bruce Mason Award (Poetry), 1993 New Zealand Book Award for Fiction, 2007 Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction and the ONZM 2012 Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours for services in literature.
The interviewer: My name is Ewen Wong, I am 12 years old, I go to Cobham Intermediate, Christchurch and used to go to Fendalton Open Air School. My favourite authors are: Angie Sage, JK Rowling, Michael Morpurgo, Derek Landy, Paul B. Janeczko and Paula Green. I like to read and write poetry, fantasy and magic. My favourite subject is writing but I also like Maths, running and biking.
Which book did you most enjoy writing?
I’ve enjoyed writing all my books, but the first one to be published –a book of poems — was the most exciting!
At what age did you start getting interested in writing?
I began writing poems when I was little and when I was 10 or so I collected them in a little notebook that I still own. Here is my first poem, which I wrote when I was five.
Come little kitty,
Come to me.
Come little kitty
And have your tea.
What is your favourite genre to write or read?
I like reading poetry, non-fiction and realistic fiction. I don’t like fantasy, books that try too hard to be funny or biographies of boring people.
When did you move from Oamaru?
I left Oamaru when I was 18 to go to Dunedin to university.
Where do you like to write and read?
I like writing in a little hut in a paddock next our house on Banks Peninsula. It is very quiet and sunny and I can concentrate and read things aloud without anyone overhearing. I like reading in bed or sitting on the swingseat on a sunny day.
What is your favourite word to use when writing?
‘The End’ (can I choose two words?) because that means the book is finished and I can begin to think about the next one!
Good luck with your writing, Ewen.
What a great interview Ewen and Fiona. Thank you! Fiona has four poems in A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children. One is about a vagabond tomato and one is about a bright red kiwi fruit. Fiona has a great ear at work when she writes because these four poems sound simply delicious.