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Sally Odgers

answers the Usual Questions

Sally Odgers

Sally Odgers

Sally is a regular feature of Festivale, writing her column of news and reviews Sally's reading corner. She lives in Tasmania, Australia.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Not so's you'd notice <g> I seldom meet any fans because I don't get to many conventions. I get letters and e-mails quite often, but they don't affect my work. I do make an effort to get kind fans to tell my publishers and booksellers what they just told me (i.e. that my book is the *greatest*)... but I'm not sure if they do.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I was delighted with a letter from a Swiss librarian who had read the German edition of my sci fi Trinity Street. I still haven't seen that edition, but I did send her the Australian one so she could compare the translation.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Monica Edwards was my favourite "realism" writer when I was young, and Robert Heinlein's work roused my interest in sci fi. Geoffrey Trease's books got me interested in history and Patricia Wrightson's in Australian fiction. These days, Diana Wynne Jones is my role model. I love multi-layered books with lots of hidden turnings, and that's what I try to write. I find I can return to my favourites among her books over and over again. I'm also very interested in selected titles by Margaret Mahy and in one historical fantasy by Elizabeth Marie Pope; The Perilous Gard.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

That would depend on for how long! If it were an hour or so, and we knew we'd be rescued, my son James would be a good bet. He's restful but I like talking to him and we have similar taste in books.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Aside from the obvious (a claustrophobic homicidal drug-addicted maniac), I'd have to say a smoker or someone who wears heavy perfume.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Tea, chocolate, Apple Isle, Howl's Moving Castle, Hexwood, The Perilous Gard, Deep Secret... no, on second thoughts, I'd better take my whole book collection. It might be a long voyage! I'd also have to pack the family.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I already earn a living from writing, but I would like more recognition (wouldn't we all?). I'd like to get to the stage where I can get two-or-three book contracts for novels as well as for reading scheme work. I'd also like to be at the stage where people would cease to look surprised when they realise the school library actually has 20 of my books and not three, as they fondly supposed.

That aside, I'd like to develop the various strands I've begun. I'd like to push the envelope a bit farther out in the sci fi and fantasy worlds.

submitted by Sally Odgers

September 7, 1999

See also: Sally's reading corner
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