Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Today we’re joined by Liz de Jager, creator of the My Favourite Books review blog, which ran for seven years (2005-2012) and enabled Liz to gain insights into the publishing industry. Her debut novel, Banished, is available now from Tor UK. You can read an excerpt here on Tor.com. Liz grew up in South Africa and now lives and works in the UK with her husband Mark. You can follow her here on Twitter.
Join us as we cover subjects ranging from Guillermo del Toro to Teen Wolf, and more!
Describe your favorite place to read or write.
Favourite place to write would be local coffee shop: Fee & Brown in the town I live in, in the UK, called Beckenham. The place is buzzy, they do great food and cake. OMG. The cake. Favourite place to read would be anywhere.
If you could choose your own personal theme song to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?
I’d choose “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia. Or…“Phoenix ” by Fall Out Boy. Or…a mash up between them?
What’s your favorite method of procrastination?
Twitter and tumblr.
Also: I feel the desperate need to repack my massive bookcases when I get stuck writing or editing when I’m at home.
Parallelogram—I don’t use this word in anything, but I just love saying it. Try it now. It just makes your mouth feel happy. Also it makes you instantly 100% more clever.
Do you have a favorite under-read author?
I have so many—Mary Gentle. Marie Brennan. Rosemary Clement Moore. Kendare Blake. Sarah Reese Brennan (in the UK especially), Tessa Gratton, Karen Mahoney, but this list can go on forever so I’ll stick with these incredible writers for now.
Name your favorite monster from fiction, film, TV, or any other pop culture source.
I’m a ridiculously huge Guilermo del Toro fan-girl. So it will have to be the Pale Man in del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. Just the image of the Pale Man sitting motionless at the laden banqueting table, especially after the Faun’s warning to Ofelia:
“Be careful. What slumbers there…is not human.”
I’m fascinated by the macabre and by fairy tales and this image is just so vivid and so strong, especially the colour-coding del Toro uses in this scene (it reminds you of a womb, of birth and rebirth and of monsters eating small delicate children) and if I ever want to freak myself out, this is the scene I imagine.
What D&D character alignment best describes you first thing in the morning?
Chaos. Unbridled chaos.
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
It was a box of books I got from my aunt. They were packed full of Asimov, Herbert and others I can’t remember. But the book I remember the most vividly reading was Stephen Lawhead’s In The Hall of the Dragon King. I recently had the chance to meet him in person. I nearly burst out in tears as I got so emotional remembering how invested I’d been on Quentin’s quest. I didn’t embarrass myself at all. He gave me an awkward hug. Life = made.
If you were secretly going to write fanfic (or, even better, slashfic) about any two characters, who would they be?
There is no secretly about this, trust me! I am completely obsessed with the MTV Teen Wolf TV show. So if I ever wrote fanfic or slash it would be Sterek fic. I ship Stiles Stilinski and Derek Hale with all my fan-girl heart. I love them. They are my OTP.