Ooh, another interesting one. I’d love to talk to Jane Austen. I’d like to know how she wrote her books in the days of quill pens. How much editing did she do? Did she plan it all in advance? How many drafts? Did she have the Regency equivalent of a beat sheet tucked away under her blotter? Or did she plan the whole thing in her head before she started writing? And did she have to keep a list of characters written down somewhere so that she could remember their ages and incomes (those all-important aspects of high-born life)? Her books are so perfectly constructed, and conform so well to modern ideas about structuring novels, yet she was writing two hundred years ago. She was one amazing lady.
If I could have a second author to interview, I’d love to sit down and have a chat to Australian author Glenda Larke. She writes envy-worthy epic fantasy, and she could talk about that if she wanted, but what I’d love her to tell me about is her time living in Malaysia, her experiences as a naturalist and wildlife expert, and all the amazing creatures she’s encountered, often in her own back yard. Her blog used to be filled with the most astonishing photographs, from trips she and her husband made into the jungle, staying at remote cabins far from civilisation. She’s moved back to Australia now, and although she still observes and photographs wildlife, it isn’t quite as exotic as all those strange jungle beasties. Another amazing lady.
Footnote: Authors Answer is the brainchild of blogger Jay Dee Archer, of I Read Encyclopedias For Fun. You can read the answers to this question by his eclectic bunch of authors here. More recently, Erica Dakin, of the Theft And Sorcery blog, has been answering the questions independently. You can read her answer to this question here.