First published in the Book Council e-newsletter, April 2012.
1. How would you describe The Forrests in a sentence or two? Not very well, I'm afraid! I find doing that hard enough at the best of times but with this book especially. If I start saying 'it's about a woman...um... in time...' most readers are going to run for the hills. But it is about a woman in time.
2. The Forrests follows the life journey of main character Dorothy Forrest. What did you enjoy most about focusing on the life-time experience of this character? It was a lot of pleasure writing this book – one of the most enjoyable aspects was when Dorothy really started to give in to the weirdness of things somewhere in her mid-life and the language could follow. Also, sexual tension. That's fun to write.
3. You’ve just launched your new website. What are a few of your favourite author/book websites? Twitter is my main source for keeping up to date with book reviews, etc. I particularly like The Millions, The Rumpus, HTMLGiant, and Beattie's Book Blog for what's happening in New Zealand of course, but if I had to choose only one resource it would be Twitter.
4. As a reader what’s the best risk you ever took on a book? There have been some guest choices for The Good Word that I'd never have usually thought about but have really enjoyed. The standout might be Michael Parkinson's biography of George Best, the only sporting biography I have ever read or, probably, will ever read. But what a life and what a story! (Steve Braunias put us onto it.)
5. What’s on your bedside table at the moment? A lot of first novels for the Commonwealth Book Prize, but after those John Lanchester's Capital and Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex. I'm itching to get my hands on The Intentions Book by Gigi Fenster and to go on a Janet Malcolm binge.
Read more about Emily Perkins in her Book Council Writers file.