interview with Finuala Dowling

The Writers Write Interview – Finuala Dowling


In this post, we share our interview with Finuala Dowling.

Finuala Dowling is a South African poet and writer.

The Writers Write Interview With Finuala Dowling

1. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Emma Woodhouse, in the novel by Jane Austen

2. What is your most treasured possession?

My In-box

3. Which living person do you most dislike?

Paris Hilton

4. What is your greatest fear?

Losing the ability to write

5. Who or what has been the greatest love of your life?

My daughter and muse, Beatrice

6. What is your greatest regret?

Never having achieved the right balance between work and play.

7. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?

Dorothea Brooke in Middlemarch – get the suffering over with first

8. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

Possibly Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangaremba, because it was prescribed so often when I was a lecturer.

9. What is your favourite journey?

The ghostly silent road between Matjiesfontein and Sutherland.

10. Cats or dogs? Which do you prefer?

Cats (self-sufficiency)

11. What quality do you most admire in a woman?

The ability to fight back. (I don’t have it.)

12. Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?

I flying – my first book of poetry. It brought me my best readers, many friends, and opportunities that keep coming.

13. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Don’t write the book you think you should write, but the one that lies deep inside you with TRUTH written all over it.

14. What are your favourite names?

Patrick, Sean, Nicholas, Richard, Tessa, Brigid, Cara: my siblings

15. What do you do as a hobby?

I walk every day, and read. I like art and craft too – at the moment I’m turning a wooden bed into a garden table.

16. What are your top three books? 

  • The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin
  • The Secret History by Donna Tart
  • Country of my Skull by Antjie Krog

17. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

By observing the world, reflecting, eavesdropping. Also by reading: I perceive a gap and wonder why no one has said this or that before.

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