About Kate Pullinger
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Tour guide, miner, waitress, kitchen assistant.
Q. Favorite job
A. Writing! I like editing and revising more than facing the blank page, I'll admit.
Q. High school and/or college
A. Dunsmuir High off the Metchosin Road, Colwood, Victoria, BC, Canada
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. too hard!
Q. Favorite movie
A. 'The Palm Beach Story', directed by Preston Sturges
Q. Favorite television show
A. Most recently here in the UK I loved a series called 'Downton Abbey' - Upstairs/Downstairs for the 21st century!
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Happy, busy, quiet and exciting, dull and noisy.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. My mother was a great one for maxims, me less so. However, I'm a great believe in optimism, however unfounded. Plus I always like to have my next holiday booked and planned.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Happiness for me is really good meal in a really great restaurant with my husband and our two kids. There's something about a good restaurant - well-run, well-designed, with good lighting, good service, and of course good food - that I find irresistable and impossibly glamorous. I grew up in towns where nice restaurants didn't really exist, so I love getting dressed up and going out to eat somewhere nice.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. I'm a mother, so anything to do with my kids and the word 'harm' is terrifying.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Well, I have an office in my garden that we built two years ago and the honest truth is I'm there right now, and I love it.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. The servants and labourers and teachers; the people who worked hard and are not remembered, like many generations of my family.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. I was born cynical I'm afraid.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I went through a phase when I kept saying 'crikey' which is an English expression, meaning 'gosh', that no one uses any more. My English husband (I'm Canadian) made me stop.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. I had a trip book to go see my mum but I got the worst flu I've ever had, and couldn't travel. Five weeks later she died.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Definitely the ability to fly.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. I think I conveniently forget certain things I've done, but I'm not sure, I can't remember!
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. Better ask someone else!
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Count Dracula, from the novel 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Sally Naldrett, of course, the main character from 'The Mistress of Nothing'! I'd love to find out what really happened to her after she left Lucie Duff Gordon's household.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. The global banking crisis, and the way the bankers continue to profit from it.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Reading of course!
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. My job title at the university where I work part-time is Reader in Creative Writing and New Media. 'Reader' is a British academic title that is one rank below 'Professor'. But it would be great if what it really meant was 'reader' - the perfect job for me!
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Trustworthiness, humour, and spark.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Good bread with extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. 'Purple Rain' by Prince, 'God Save the Queen' by the Sex Pistols, 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barclay, 'Ring of Fire' by Johnny Cash, and 'I See a Darkness' by Bonnie Prince Billy
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Alistair MacLeod, Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, Lynne Tillmann, and Geoff Dyer
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Too hard, it's just too hard!!
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. 'The Great Gatsby'
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. When it comes to writing, speed is not a virtue; good writing takes time.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. With 'The Mistress of Nothing' readers seem to really enjoy being transported up the Nile alongside my characters.