Interview, research, review, write, publish
LIZ Kessler is the best-selling author of the Emily Windsnap and the Philippa Fisher series. Her latest book is A Year Without Autumn.
How old were you when you started your career?
I was about thirty (ish) when I wrote my first book. It was published a couple of years after that.
When you were young what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a poet. I wrote poems all the time and was convinced that was what I was going to be. Failing that, I wanted to be an air hostess.
I think anyone who ever encouraged me to be true to myself, and anyone who told me I had any talent. Being a writer feels like what really makes me tick, and so the people who told me it’s OK to be me are the ones who inspired me to be a writer!
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
Meeting one of my favourite authors (Jodi Picoult) at the National Book Festival in Washington USA, and finding out that her daughter was a fan of my books!!!
In your opinion, who is the most inspiring person that you have met?
I have recently become involved with a charity for a brand new children’s hospice in Cornwall called Little Harbour. I went to visit the hospice towards the end of last year, just before they opened. It’s the most beautiful, incredible place, and everyone who has been involved in creating this wonderful place inspires and amazes me.
Who did you see as a role model when you were young?
My English teacher Jenny – or Miss Richardson as she was back then. She’s the one who really made me believe I had anything valuable to offer the world, and made me want to try my best and work my hardest and be as nice as her!
What has been the scariest moment in your career?
I guess the recession is pretty scary for anyone who makes a living out of selling their books!
If you weren’t what you are today what would you be?
Probably a teacher (which I have been) possibly a journalist (which I’ve also been) but if I could be anything then I’d be either a wildlife or underwater documentary maker – or maybe a scientist who invents time travel (except I’ve always been rubbish at science.)
What do you do in your spare time?
Walk the dog, play in the sea on either a surfboard, bodyboard, kayak or fishing boat, read good books, go to the pictures, hang out with friends.
Have you got any unusual talents?
I can say the opening sequence to ‘The Lone Ranger’ (a song from 1976.) And if you don’t think that sounds particularly unusual or talented, check it out here and you’ll see that it is both…
Have you ever had any pets?
I have a Dalmatian called Poppy, who is the star of my latest book!
What is your favourite music?
ALL sorts. It really depends on my mood. If I’m working, I like gentle chilled tunes. Otherwise, I generally like a lot of chart stuff and listen to the local radio station a lot.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
I went to a friend’s birthday party a few weeks ago where a friend took photos of a few of us doing the ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ dance. When I saw the pics on Facebook, that was a little bit embarrassing.
What do you think will be the best thing about 2012?
Sharing Poppy the Pirate Dog’s new-found fame.
What is the weirdest thing about you?
Maybe my mad curly hair. It has a life of its own.