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Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe!

A few weeks ago, I got 30 questions from Tor.com’s Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe off my tutor. It was a class about getting press opportunities and getting your writing (and yourself in general) out there.

So, I have decided I’m going to do a 3 part blog post where I answer 10 questions from the pop quiz, just so you get to know me a little better.

So, here it goes.

1) Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the internet.
Well then, this is a good one to start with. I have a phobia of bees/wasps/hornets that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Apparently I was stung by one when I was very little, so that’s probably why. I’m more than okay with the concept of bees, I understand they’re necessary, but it doesn’t stop me freaking out when I see one.

2) If you could be incarnated as any historical figure, who would you like to be?
I answered this one in the class, actually. It’s either Ramses II or George Orwell. Two very different people!
Ramses II because he was arguably one of the biggest Pharaohs in Egyptian history, with his legacy being plastered (or, more accurately, built by slaves) all over Egyptian temples, including Abu Simbel, which is often considered an “8th Wonder of the World”, and most certainly in the 7 wonders of Egypt.
George Orwell because he is one of the most intelligent and thought inspiring writers of the 20th Century. His fictional work has changed society in so many ways, as well as his equally spectacular non-fiction work. It would be an honour as a writer to be able to step into his shoes, even if only once.

3) What is your favourite short story?
Now this is a tough one. I really like Angela Carter’s work, especially The Bloody Chamber. It’s pretty messed up but fantastic writing. I really enjoy The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, too. I understand these are both novellas but I don’t often read that much short fiction (I am trying to get myself into it, however.)

4) Describe your favourite place to read/write?
My favourite place to read/write would probably be a coffee shop? It sound kind of stereotypical and student-y but I always manage to relax and get into a certain mindset to concentrate there, especially for writing. I also find it easy to read in bed, too. I sat down the other day and read pretty much half of Gone Girl in one go. I got into a zone.

5) If you could choose your own personal theme music/song to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?
I originally said 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, which would be pretty awesome. But I think the Game of Thrones theme song would be amazing, too.

6) If you regenerated as a new Doctor, what would your signature outfit/accessory be?
I think a Doctor with a broken pocket watch would be cool as a kind of plot creator. Like, it would be kinda odd for someone who travels space and time to have a pocket watch that didn’t even work, and it had some kind of significant use to it that saves him at the last minute, or something.

7) Do you have a favourite underrated/unknown/under-read author?
I would most certainly say Jonathan Taylor. I had the pleasure of being taught by him in the my second year of university before he left, and his debut novel, Entertaining Strangers, is one of my favourite books. I am looking forward to his new novel coming later this year!

8) Battle to the death, which weapon do you choose: A) Phaser, B) Lightsaber, or C) Wand?
I’m pretty much stuck between the lightsaber and the wand. The phaser would be useless against the other two. The wand would be the most versatile and dangerous (If you know what to do with it…), but the lightsaber is much cooler (from the perspective of someone raised on the Star Wars films), so it’ll probably have to be B) Lightsaber.

9) Do you have a favourite word/phrase/etymology?
I’d probably say… shenanigans. As well as it being very fun to say, it also has an interesting history. It is a word that first came about very recently, as new as 1855, according to the OED. It was also first noted in America, so it was less than 100 years after the country became independent from Britain that the word first came about. It is also interesting because it doesn’t have any clear etymology, where it came from prior to that, and is pretty much unknown, even to the OED, which is pretty fascinating. It’s as if it came out of nowhere.

10) Strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a book?
Hm. I’m not too sure. I was doing research for a poem in my first year of university and I pretty much memorised one soup recipe that I used as a structure. Other than that? I did a lot of research into phobias for a project once, and that Nyctophobia is the fear of night and/or darkness.

Thank you for reading the first 10 answers! I will post up another 10 tomorrow!

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