Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, USA. She studied at Harvard University, worked in New York City for 10 years in publishing and advertising, left for England in 1977 to enter St Martin’s School of Art, later returning to finish her degree at Harvard. Her first novel, How I Live Now (2004) won several awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Orange First Novel Prize and became a 2013 film.
She went on to write further award-winning books such as What I Was (2007), The Bride’s Farewell (2009),Vamoose (Puffin, 2010), There Is No Dog (2011) and Picture Me Gone (2013)
Meg Rosoff lives in North London. She is also the author of Meet Wild Boars (2005), a picture book, and co-author of a book of non-fiction, London Guide: Your Passport to Great Travel (1995).
Who or what had the biggest impact on your creative life?
A miserable 15 years in advertising that made me think anything in the world would be better than selling crap to people who don’t want it.
Where do you write? What’s in your writing space and why?
I write a lot in bed. Not because I’m channelling Barbara Cartland but because sitting up at a desk makes my back hurt. Also I love my bed. In my writing space is my MacBook. Two lurchers. Coffee.
You’re difficult to categorise, a trait I particularly appreciate in a writer. Is that deliberate?
Deliberately difficult? No, it’s just my default position. If I could be James Patterson I would.
Do you have a word or phrase that you most overuse?
In life or in literature? “Has anyone fed the dogs?” recurs a lot.
Which writers do you enjoy or re-read?
I love Hilary Mantel, Saul Bellow, Yeats, Shirley Hazzard, Thor Heyerdahl. I also reread early mountain climbing books a lot (Annapurna, The Ascent of Everest).
Why do you write?
Because I’m good at it and can make a living doing it. If I found a million pounds in a paper bag tomorrow, I’d give it up and lie in a hammock.
What makes you laugh?
My friend, Andy Stanton.
Do you have a guilty reading pleasure?
Pony books from the 1950s.
You have made a case for age-grading books – will you tell us why?
Before I was a writer, I had no clue what to buy for the kids I knew. I didn’t want a second career reading middle grade fiction, so some clue was helpful if I couldn’t find a knowledgeable bookseller.
Which book should be better known?
A Wrinkle in Time is the great American children’s book. It’s not nearly well-known enough here. I also love Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton.
When are you at your most creative?
Would you share what you’re working on next?
I’ve just finished a novel with a slightly older protagonist. It’s called Jonathan Unleashed about a young guy working in NYC whose dogs are trying to sort out his life.
Wild Card: What kind of dog best represents your personality?
A big hairy Briard. “Protective, Obedient, Loyal, Faithful, Fearless, Intelligent.”
by JJ Marsh