Sunday, August 7, 2011

Philippa Ballantine

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, fantasy author and podcaster Philippa Ballantine 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.
In 2006 Philippa became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, she has since gone on to voice and produce 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. Geist, the first in the Books of the Order series, was released in October 2010. Spectyr (released 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.

And now, hang on kid, we're in for a bumpy ride.

6 Questions with Philippa Ballantine:

1. What are your favorite and your least favorite words?

  "I love the word 'quentessential'- for some reason I adore words with Q and this just feels nice on the tongue.

I'm not found of the word 'receive' just because it is a word I always mix up and there just seem to be too many vowels in there!"

2. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, emotionally?

  "Creatively what turns me on is travel. Meeting new people and seeing news places just fires me up and makes me want to include them into my stories. Spiritually I need greenery, forests and gardens. It feels to me like the place where I can recharge and find my inner zen. Emotionally I need to be around creative people. Something about being in a community of like-minded souls fulfills me and just makes me happy"

3. What is the closest you have ever come to giving up writing?

  "When I did! From the ages of eighteen to twenty-five I gave up writing. Mostly it was just despair at never getting published A New Zealand writer hoping to break into the world of New York publishing was just a lot harder back then. Luckily, I saw the light and came back- I'm kinda glad I did."

4. What is the strangest thing you have ever done while writing?

  "I actually started Geist on the ferry from Scotland to the Orkney Islands. It was kinda choppy water and I was writing on a piece of paper all the ideas that were flying at me. It was a strange, yet also strangely appropriate way to start the books of the Order."

5. What decision in your writing career do you regret most?

  "I've taken logical steps in my career and I don't regret a thing, but I do with it had happened faster. This was probably because I did give up for seven years. So I regret doing that, because I know I would be even further ahead in my career path than I am now. Also all those extra stories I could have been telling."

6.  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God (or Allah or Yahweh or Odin. Generally the Supreme Being of your choice.) say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

  "The first draft was great- no need for editing!"

Thanks Pip! A great way to close an interview! If you'd like to know more about Philippa Ballantine and her work...

Email: pip at
Twitter: philippajane
Facebook: Group page

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you next time for an interview with the ever suave and smooth Tee Morris!

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