An Alternative Author Interview:
TCL’s Countdown Questions.
This week I’m featuring author
Following the controversy around Kim Michelle Richardson’s novel “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” being plagiarized by Jojo Moyes (who apparently also got a movie deal as “punishment” for her theft), I went out and bought Richardson’s novel (and I’ve been bashing Moyes at every opportunity since). That book about these people with a medical condition that turned their skin blue was so fascinating, that when I heard about Ilsa Morley’s novel, “The Last Blue” I just had to get that one as well. And boy, am I ever glad I did. Of course, now I’ve got some back-list reading to do, but that’s fine! When I noticed that “The Last Blue” was on sale recently, I contacted her, and asked her to participate in my little alternative author interview. Let’s see how she replied to my five, fast, and fun questions.
- If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
Seychelles is an idyllic archipelago in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. It’s where my soul sister was born and raised, and I long to meet her family while enjoying the pristine warm waters and white sandy beaches.
Alaska to see the Northern Lights.
Southern Baja to swim with dolphins.
India to visit an ashram, and eat curry every day.
A road trip along Highway 1 from southern Oregon to Seattle, Washington. The southern part of Highway 1 is so beautiful, and I’d like to see the rest of it.
- Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
Toast with Marmite (I’m originally from South Africa, don’t judge me)
- There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
I tend not to suffer from nostalgia, nor do I spend much time dreaming of the future, which would make me an ideal candidate for relishing the present, however I’m just so dang tired of the pandemic. Fast forward me to the near future when I can hug again, listen to choirs, and exchange smiles again with strangers at the grocery store.
- Best and/or worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
Oh, let’s go with best moments since we’ve had our share of dark moments in 2020. Giving birth to my daughter ranks as the best moment, and meeting my biological family for the first time after 45 years on the day of 20th wedding anniversary was pretty spectacular.
- Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner is a work of sparkling prose replete with wisdom and wit. Garner is an astonishing talent whose observations in every one of her books are honed by extraordinary self-awareness, empathy and intelligence. I could write for 200 years and never be as good a writer as she is.
Thanks Isla! No, I won’t judge you for loving Marmite. My husband is British and he loves it as well. As for wanting to be in the near future’s post-pandemic world… I hear you, Loud and Clear!
Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and fourth-generation South African mother. During the country’s State of Emergency, she graduated from Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth with a degree in English Literature.
By 1994 she was one of the youngest magazine editors in South Africa, but left career, country and kin when she married an American and moved to California. For more than a decade she pursued a career in non-profit work, focusing on the needs of women and children.
Her debut novel, “Come Sunday,” won the Janet Heidinger Prize for fiction and was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize. It has been translated into seven languages. Her novel, “Above” was an IndieNext Pick, a Best Buzz Book and a Publishers Weekly Best New Book. “The Last Blue” is her third novel.
She has lived in some of the most culturally diverse places of the world, including Johannesburg, London and Honolulu. Now in Los Angeles, she shares a home with her husband, daughter, three cats and five tortoises.