Interview with Sarah Rees BrennanApril, 2012
What Readers want to know...
SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?
SB: A cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, a book with that new-book smell I'm half-way through and really loving, and of course, Jake Gyllenhall asking me if I need any more marshmallows.
SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
SB: Reading in a bubble bath. It's lucky my housemates sometimes need the bathroom, otherwise I might never get any writing done.
SS: What’s your fantasy profession?
SB: Writing! Really. When I was five I wanted to be a ballet dancer, but by six the dream job was set.
SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
SB: Loyalty, humour and dedication
SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
SB: Pie. There's a lot of variety in pie - my favourite kind being darby pie, which is basically chocolate chip cookie dough pie.
SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?
SB: The Little Things by Danny Elfman, Venetia Teng's Harbour, The Book of Love by such heights, Hero by Bonnie Tyler, So Macho by sinitta. (I'm not kidding about those last two!)
SS: What’s your greatest fear?
SB: I have this awful fear of seaweed. I once read a book where a magical storm caused seaweed to rise up and eat a girl, and I still eye big clumps of seaweed warily when I go on walks down the beach.
SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
SB: on a cruise ship around the Caribbean islands, with Jake Gyllenhall naturally by my side, bringing me an iced lemonade
SS: With whom in history do you most identify?
SB: Grainne the Pirate Queen. Once she locked her husband out of his castle, and declared that it was hers now. We've all had days like that!
SS: Which living person do you most admire?
SB: Mary Robinson, the first woman president of Ireland!
SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?
SB: I call people 'petal' all the time. My postman is very confused by this.
SS: What do you regret most?
SB: I took a lot of dares as a child. I regret in order the incident with the train, the incident with the harbour, and especially the incident with the open window and the nun.
SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
SB: Sneakiness. Then I could creep about like a ninja: I could steal Philip Pullman's ideas for books, and he wouldn't even notice...
SS: What is your greatest achievement?
SB: Abseiling in six inch heels! (Secretly, my first book, but the abseiling was pretty impressive.)
SS: What’s your greatest flaw?
SB: I tend to get over-excited and very, very loud. I rein myself in when people flinch and dogs start howling
SS: What’s your best quality?
SB: I can find the fun in most situations.
SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
SB: I might be a teapot. I'd enjoy always being full of tea.
SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?
SB: My wondrous beauty! Er, perhaps not... My height and my shocking ability to work vampires into almost any conversation.
SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
SB: Colin Craven of Frances Hodgson Burnett's the Secret Garden. Blond, daddy issues, rules the world from his sickbed... my kind of guy. Tied with Darcy, because everyone loves Darcy.
SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
SB: I really love Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He has the best villain song ever! There's also Shakespeare's Richard III, who was terribly charming. (Villains often are...)
SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
SB: I would meet Richard III, and I'd say 'Seriously though, did you kill the Princes in the Tower? This is for posterity, so be honest.'
SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?
SB: People who say they don't like a particular genre of books - there are such excellent books in every genre, it's like someone saying they don't like pie!
SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
SB: A whirlwind of excitement! With tea and cake.
SS: What is your motto or maxim?
SB: I may not agree with a word you say, but would defend to the death your right to say it was Voltaire's first, but it's a good one!
SS: What is your birthdate?
SS: What were your previous occupations?
SB: I worked in publishing, in a library, in a doctor's office, in a newspaper, at a veterinarian's and for a memorable two days I had the distinction of being the worst waitress in the world!
SS: What was/is your favorite job?
SB: Writer, definitely!
SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?
SB: In Ireland. We don't call it high school here - I always thought cheerleaders only existed in the movies!
SS: Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
SB: It's very hard to choose, but I like Sarah McLachlan a lot.
SS: What is your favorite movie?
SB: Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Really! It is the greatest love story of our time, and totally deep.)
SS: What is your favorite television show?
SB: I love Gossip Girl! I still miss Veronica Mars, though.
Get more on Sarah Rees Brennan at SimonandSchuster.com