Author Revealed

About Philippa Gregory

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 1/9

Q. Previous occupations

A. Journalist, historian

Q. Favorite job

A. I do love journalism and radio broadcasting, but history is my greatest passion.

Q. High school and/or college

A. The Universities of Sussex and Edinburgh

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. Probably Mozart

Q. Favorite movie

A. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Q. Favorite television show

A. House

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Diverse, entertaining, joyful, complex, busy, fulfilled, interesting, loving, integrated

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Walk Home.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. A state which is physical, spiritual and intellectual

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. I don't think about it.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. I am lucky in that I am in my study overlooking my garden in a beautiful part of England and the sun is shining. I wouldn't be anywhere but here.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Right now, Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV's chosen wife and Queen of England

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. I very much admire Nelson Mandela for his ability to forgive and be happy.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Voila!-- ever since I wrote in the character of Mary, Queen of Scots in The Other Queen

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Regret is really a complete waste of time unless you use it to change.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. I should love to sing. I would quite like to cook. I would like to want to cook.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. My charity, Gardens for the Gambia, which has put more than a hundred wells in primary schools in The Gambia, changing the lives of thousands of children.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. I am terribly bossy.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I am affectionate and loving.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. My beloved horse, now retired from work, has one of the most idyllic lives one can imagine. He does nothing, he is adored for being himself, and he has limitless food and leisure. He is also incredibly beautiful.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. How I think.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. I like Dorothea in Middlemarch.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Lovelace in Richardson's Clarissa

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. I should love to meet Elizabeth I and ask her about the mysteries of her time: her attitude to marriage, to Mary, Queen of Scots, the reasons behind her decisions.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. I hate not being able to work modern technology.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. I love walking, gardening, farming, reading, skiing, holidaying, being with my children, talking to my husband. I like doing so many other things it is amazing I get any work done at all.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Without a doubt-- ranger on a big game preserve, re-wilding Africa.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Loyalty, authenticity and a loving heart

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Porridge and fresh fruit

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. The English and American classics

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. They change all the time.

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. I reread E.M. Forster more than any other author.

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Please, please, do the best and most beautiful that you can and not what you think you might sell.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. They tell me how the books spoke to them, sometimes at the most important and personal times.