Author of ‘A Box of Birds’
Kirsten McDougall writes fiction and works as a publicist for Victoria University Press. She is the mother of two sons, Daniel and Francis, one very naughty fox terrier, Louis, and a blind cat, Stormy. She lives in Wellington on the wild South Coast. She’s published stories and non-fiction in New Zealand, including her first book, The Invisible Rider. She’s just finished a short novel, Tess, which she hopes to publish in 2017.
Her star sign is Sagittarius and her family motto is Victory or Death, which she’s not sure she agrees with. Her favourite foods are roast chicken, chocolate sundaes, and cream donuts. Her favourite colour is green. She is very interested in what people do for jobs, and she interviews them from time to time on her blog. The second job she ever had was creaming the donuts at a bakery in Masterton, which is where she grew up.
‘When I was ten and eleven years old, I really wanted to read books with kids who were older than me getting into trouble. I think I really yearned for an older brother or sister and I didn’t have one, so I looked for them in fiction. Pan Horizons did a line in teen fiction, and their covers were distinctive white and blue with a red block line on the spine. I could spot those covers a mile off in the library, and I think I read most of the books they put out. My favourites were Night Kites by M.E. Kerr, Dance on my Grave by Aidan Chambers, and anything by Judy Blume. I also loved S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, the Trixie Belden series, and the Sweet Valley High series. If I ran out of books to read, I would reread the Ramona and Beezus books for comfort. I loved Archie and Peanuts comics. A book for teens I really love is How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. I think it’s brilliant. My eldest son loves Patrick Ness, and we both love The Hunger Games trilogy. I think New Zealand author Elizabeth Knox’s Dreamhunter Duet is rather fabulous, too.
The movies I loved when I was ten and eleven were Back to the Future, Desperately Seeking Susan (I was a bit young for it, but I loved Madonna), Annie, Grease, and anything with River Phoenix in it. My favourite music was Janet Jackson’s Control, Madonna’s Like a Virgin, and most of WHAM!