Author Revealed

About Isla Morley

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 11/17

Q. Previous occupations

A. Waitress, mushroom picker, magazine editor, Dress For Success program manager

Q. Favorite job

A. Woolgathering

Q. High school and/or college

A. Victoria Park High School, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, both in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. My husband, Bob Morley

Q. Favorite movie

A. The English Patient

Q. Favorite television show

A. Downton Abbey

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Being content with what is, worries set aside, and the assurance that love triumphs.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. A hurt that heaven can't heal.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Around a kitchen table meeting family members for the first time.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Any anonymous peasant girl will do.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. My husband

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Ag shame - a South African colloquialism that can be applied to a wide spectrum of regrettable circumstances, from a terrible tragedy to a cup of tea gone cold.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. I didn't act on the inner voice calling me to send my birth mother a letter. Instead, by the time I did write to her, she had passed away.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Playing the piano.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Raising a tenderhearted, generous-spirited girl in the age of self-promotion.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. The tendency to wait for the other shoe to drop.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Compassion.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. A character in a James Herriot novel.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. A willingness to listen.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. The tree in Shel Siverstein's, "The Giving Tree."

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Miss Havisham

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. I'd like to spend an afternoon with Emily Dickinson talking about writing, religion, philosophy, love and inspiration.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Receiving forwarded emails that are fear-mongering rants by people who believe if they read something on the internet, it must be true.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Painting watercolor portraits. And doodling.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Wildlife photographer and conservationist/pirate.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Wit, loyalty, and genuineness

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. California rolls and miso soup

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. The Great Storm is Over (by my husband, Bob Morley), Glory Bound (Wailing Jennys), Sugarman (Rodriguez), Thing of Beauty (Hothouse Flowers), and Seventeen (Janis Ian)

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Cormac McCarthy, Tim O'Brien, Elizabeth Strout, Alexandra Fuller, Athol Fugard, Richard Russo, Alan Paton, Bill Bryson, C.S. Lewis and Anne Lamott are a few in a really long list.

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. The Crossing - Cormac McCarthyThe Things They Carried - Tim O'BrienThe Power of One - Bryce CourtenayMy Traitor's Heart - Rian MalanThe Gospel of Luke 

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. When my daughter was little, I could get away with re-reading "The House at Pooh Corner."

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Be careful of the dream-killers -- you'll know them because they'll talk about book publishing using statistics and the word, "realistically." Run for the hills. Everything is possible, so dream big.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. "But you're so happy; how can you write such dark material?"