Emily RoddaWhere were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born in Roseville, on Sydney's North Shore. Now I live in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in a place that, strangely enough, is surrounded by bush and so is very like the place where I was born.Where did you go to school?
I went to many schools in my infants and primary years. I started school at Roseville Public, NSW. Then my family moved to Melbourne, so I spent a year at East Ivanhoe School in Victoria. After that, we moved back to Sydney and I was at East Lindfield Public School for years 2–4. I spent years 5 and 6 at Artarmon Opportunity School, an amazing experience. My high school years were at Abbotsleigh School in Wahrongah, Sydney. The principal there was Ms Betty Archdale, a wonderful, independent, outspoken woman who had a great influence on my later life. Did you have a nickname?
As my real name is 'Jennifer', my friends at school always called me 'Jenny'. What were you like in school?
I was a 'good', hardworking student, who usually obeyed the rules, but I hated Maths and often daydreamed during those classes.What is the naughtiest thing you did?
When I first started school, if I got bored I'd just leave and walk home. I didn't realise that wasn't something you should do.What was your favourite book growing up?
I loved the Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton and The Wind and the Willows
by Kenneth Graham. Later, it was Anne of Green Gables
by LM Montogomery. When I was really little, my favourite book was Pookie the Rabbit with Wings
.Who is your favourite children’s author?
So hard to say. Roald Dahl? He's brilliant.What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
My favourite colour is red. I can't decide on my favourite food or movie.Who inspired you to write?
I think Enid Blyton inspired me to write, because I loved her books so much when I was in years 3 and 4; and I wanted to be like her. How did you get started?
I told my first child (Kate) a bedtime story, and later wrote it down and sent it to a publisher. The story (Something Special
) was accepted and then published with illustrations by Noela Young. The next year it won the CBCA Junior Children's Book of the Year award and that encouraged me to go on and write more books.How old were you?
In my early thirties.Why did you want to be a writer?
Because I loved to read and I thought nothing would be better than to be a writer like the ones who had brought me so much pleasure.How do you think up ideas?
Usually I just take the things I know or have heard about and imagine a story around them.Do you have a special place where you write?
Yes. I have a desk in a rom with a view of our garden.What is the best thing about being a writer?
The fun of creating stories and getting to know my characters. For me, writing is very like reading. Pure pleasure. If it were possible, I'd do nothing else.Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer?
When I was writing action scenes in Deltora Quest I would sometimes 'act out' the fights, sitting in my chair. It was very embarrassing if anyone saw me doing it! What do you do when you are not writing?
Mainly I look after my grandson Raffy, or work in my garden, or read.What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer?
Before I was a full-time writer, I was a publisher and also an editor who worked on other people's books. I enjoyed that very much, but I enjoy writing more!
Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?
Charles Dickens?Website/blog details