Meet the 2017 Authors! Frances Hardinge


Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the 2017 Festival?

The list of speakers looks spectacular, but to be honest I’m most looking forward to meeting the local school groups attending the Festival.

Which book has inspired you the most?

It’s often the books we read as children that leave the most enduring impression upon us. I encountered Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland when I was very young, and its liberating, anarchic surrealism did strange and wonderful things to my imagination.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I make myself a cup of tea. Perhaps it’s a symptom of my Britishness, but I’m embarrassingly dependent on the stuff.

What is your life’s motto?

I have a number of mottos, but this one works for many situations:

“Happiness is the art of loving what you find, even if it’s not what you were looking for.”

Our theme for the 2017 Festival is Journeys. Can you tell us which journeys in your life have been most memorable? 

About ten years ago, my significant other and I burnt our savings on a year-long trip around the world. We didn’t know exactly what we’d do in terms of jobs and money once we got back, but it was something we had always wanted to do, and it’s all too easy to put such things off forever. So we spent twelve months exploring strange cities, climbing volcanoes, clambering over jungle temples, black water rafting, hiking, getting bitten by leeches, swimming with dolphins and slipping into a thousand chance conversations with people we would otherwise never have met.