First off, I’m sorry about the long blog silence. I’ve actually been *gasp* writing! And it’s been fantastic.
Not so fantastic is the long-term family illness stuff that my husband and I have been coping with, nor the ongoing work project that is destined to kill me.
But the writing is good.
And as I was relaxing with yesterday’s Guardian Review, I read a cool feature where several writers ask themselves questions that they wished journalists had asked them. Many are interesting and thought-provoking, while some are pompous and boring.
Here are a few of my favorites:
What’s the most important lack in your life?
I’ve lived that life in Africa without learning an African language. Even in my closest friendships, literary and political activities with black fellow South Africans, they speak only English with me. If they’re conversing together in one of their mother tongues (and all speak at least three or four of each other’s), I don’t understand more than a few words that have passed into our common South African use of English. So I’m deaf to an essential part of the South African culture to which I’m committed and belong.
What do you consider your biggest failure?
The possibility that I short-changed my children by having so many other characters filling my head as they were growing up.
Do you really go around in a corset, high heels, and a whip, subjugating men, as a 1989 cartoon depicted you?
Not any more. Too old for it. So are the men, poor things.
Are you fun to go on holiday with?
No. I’m a nightmare. I wear my trousers rolled. I get bored. I’m like Blackpool out of season, without the illuminations.
[Back to me now.]
It’s hard to imagine journalists being interested in interviewing me, but if they did, these are some of the questions I’d love to be asked.
What are you proudest of?
Every time I tell someone I was shy and virtually friendless until I was 16, and their jaws drop and they say, “You? I don’t believe it!”
Do you have a writing outfit?
I write at a cafe behind my work, so whatever I’m wearing to work that day, but when I write at home I’m usually in my pajamas. That’s because I change into my pj’s as soon as I get home. Apparently my grandfather (Mom’s dad) was similar – he stripped to his boxers as soon as he walked through the door. My mom married my dad when she was 18, and in their first week of marriage she thought he was a bit effeminate because he kept all his clothes on at home. Oddly enough, the fact that he blow-dried and hair-sprayed his hair didn’t seem to bother her.
What do you want people to say about your novels?
That they understood the emotions and dilemmas my characters face, and that they were inspired to face their own conflicts with compassion and courage.
How about you, blog reader? What would you like to be asked, and what’s the answer?