Fast Five with Rachel Steadman

  • Why did you want to be a writer?

Because I love reading so much. I could never find enough books that were exactly what I wanted to read. So that’s why I wrote my own.

  • What’s the best thing about being a writer?

You get to write :).  Most writers seem to really like finding out new things. I think most writers are little like ‘fact magpies’ we get to learn new stuff every day and we can call it ‘research.’ For example, through writing A Necklace of Souls, I learned a lot about knife fighting. I read a whole lot (and watched a lot of you-tube videos) about Kali knife fighting, which is from the Philippines. And I know how long an English longbow is – over seven foot. That is taller than most men. Do you know, if you use a long bow a lot, the bones in one arm grow heavier than the other? Skeletons of archers have bigger left arm-bones than the right.  That is why writing is so cool, you get to learn random stuff every day. (Makes you good in quizzes, too!)

  • What’s your favourite New Zealand book?

I have lots of favourite books. It’s pretty hard to pick just one. At the moment, my favourite NZ book is Tu, by Patricia Grace, because I like her descriptions of how war changes a family.

  • What do you love most about New Zealand?

I love the wide open skies and the white-topped mountains. And I like the way you can walk along a beach and see only your footprints. And I like the way you find strange things in unexpected places. Like last week we went to Hampden Beach, near Moeraki, and dolphins swam past.

What do you love most about libraries?

The books! And the friendly librarians…

Rachel Steadman is the author of the wonderful new YA fantasy, A Necklace of Souls.  When she’s not writing Rachel works for the Ministry of Health and she enjoys hiking, cycling, running and reading.

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