In keeping with our theme, I recently asked the lovely Philippa Ballantine, author of Geist, the upcoming Spectyr, and co-author with Tee Morris of the awesome steampunk romp Phoenix Rising, to tell me about some of her favorite things!
Please welcome Philippa to the blog!
My Favourite Things (Can’t help thinking of Julie Andrews when I talk about this)
By Philippa Ballantine
My favourite shoes: Shoes are the reason for existence for so many. I have so many favourites, but my best are a pair of red suede ankle boots, which have heels which look a little Flash Gordon and somehow a little steampunk. They are ridiculously unpractical, and not made for running or long periods of standing, but they make me feel like strutting when I have them on.
My favourite piece of tech. I adore my MacBook Pro. My folks bought it for my Christmas present, and as a way of congratulating me for finally breaking into New York publishing. I had a previous one that I worked to death, and I am enjoying work with its successor. I even have given them a name, Koru 2, and I have its cover with a gelaskin that has the cover art of Geist and Spectyr on it. I get a lot of compliments and it is a great thing to have when I do readings.
My favourite writing aide: that would be Sebastian, my Siberian cat. He is an essential when I am writing. He seems to know what I am doing, because he sits next to me on the couch (which is where I usually write) and plasters himself against my leg. When I am stuck, I give him a few pets, and his rumbling purr somehow seems to start my creative energy again.My Favourite Book. Oh so many to choose from, but I do love one particular shelf. It is where I keep books my friends have written—many are folk that have risen through the ranks of podcasting, while others are people I have met at conventions.
My favourite necklace is something my librarian workmates gave me on my last day. I’d worked there for thirteen years, and they knew me so well. It is a series of small medallions, with each one being a lovely reproduction of a different New Zealand stamp. It is something I love to wear at conventions because I feel like home is close to me.
My favourite food: sushi. We’ve found a really neat local place that does the best dragon roll I’ve ever had. They’ve also got so used to us that we have a table and they bring us new things they are working on.
My favourite piece of art: It’s easy for me to figure this one out, since I had to choose which items I moved to the States with me. My one thing I had to send was a framed print by Michael Parkes. He is one of my favourite artists with his surreal yet beautiful images. Night Flight to me is about freedom, creativity and beauty. I love the way the woman’s hair flies in the wind, and she effortlessly keeps pace with the swans. Her clothes are coming adrift and she doesn’t care.
About Philippa Ballantine
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.
She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.
Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have been short listed for the Parsec Awards, and won a Sir Julius Vogel award.
Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- the first of which Geist was released in October 2010. Spectyr (June 2011), Wrayth (2012) and Harbinger are to follow. She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising will debut in May 2011.
When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling.She is currently in the United States where her two Siberian cats, Sebastian and Viola make sure she stays out of trouble.
Visit Philippa at her website!