Where were you born? Where do you live now?
Adelaide to both questionsWhere did you go to school
Ascot Park Primary, Marion High, Adelaide and Flinders UniversitiesDid you have a nickname?
Not at school, at least not that I was aware of. 'Rufus' later, sometimes. What were you like in school?
Anxious a lot of the time as I had a stammer.What is the naughtiest thing you did?
Accidentally swallowed my best friend's brother's prize goldfish during a 'dare'.What was your favourite book growing up?
, possibly Anne of Green Gables
(I still have both originals); I had a lot of favourite books. At an early age I joined the Children's Library of the State Library of SA. My dad used to change my books for me every Friday and he knew exactly which books I'd enjoy most. Who is your favourite children’s author?
I couldn't possibly comment, I have too many who are friends! What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
Butter yellow popcorn while watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Who inspired you to write?
Nobody really. When I was at school I thought all authors were English and dead. I never met a living author, much less an Australian one. Plenty of teachers encouraged me to write, but that didn't seem to have any connection to the books I read and enjoyed. How did you get started?
I went back to uni to finish a degree I'd abandoned long ago; reading English literature showed me how books were structured and plotted, and how characters were created. I thought, I might be able to do this. And I did. I published my first four books while doing a BA degree.
How old were you?
Too old, really. I should have started 10 years earlier. But you don't really have the life experience and the know-how to write novels until you've lived in the world a bit.Why did you want to be a writer?
Because it was something I was good at, unlike maths or science. And because I rather liked the idea of a job where you could work from bed and wear your pyjamas all day if you wanted to. How do you think up ideas?
I read a lot — books, magazines, journals, on-line — and often pick up good ideas that way. But it's not the ideas that are tricky, it's the knowing which ideas will translate into a story or novel, and then the working out of a plot from that idea. Do you have a special place where you write?
I'd like to say a suite at London's Savoy Hotel (I believe they do have a writer-in-residence programme) and I've enjoyed terrific residences at the May Gibbs studio in Brisbane (I'd go back there in a flash) and Varuna in the Blue Mountains (ditto) but sadly, it's most often a room in my house that has a lot of distractions, eg. A small dog that requires walking, a fridge, a washing machine, a front door bell, etc. etc.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
See what I said about bed and pyjamas above. Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer?
Yes. What do you do when you are not writing?
Worry about not writing. Or read. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. That said, I could certainly exercise more. What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer?
I've been a shop assistant, a radio broadcaster, a photojournalist, a tour guide, a public servant, a travel marketer, a university lecturer, and a writing mentor, but mostly those jobs chose me not the other way round.. Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?
I'd like to ask Shakespeare who the fair Young Man and the Dark Lady were and Amelia Earhart where on earth she disappeared to. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
I'm a bad procrastinator, but sometimes that's been a positive. I think everybody has a book in them but very often it's just that one book. I like going to movies on my own. If anyone wants to buy me a present, you really can't go wrong with Haigh's Shiraz Truffles. Website/blog detailswww.ruthstarke.com