Five Minutes with Zoe Rochford

  Did you have something specific you wanted to communicate with this piece?

I wanted my piece to speak about childhood, and how a tragedy can force children to grow up (or down, as they case may be) far more quickly than necessary.

Is there a style/genre/or writer who has significantly influenced your work?

The thing I admire most in other writer's work are accurate observations about humanity. I love Donna Tartt's book The Secret History - every time I reread it I find another gem of observation that makes me sit back and think, my god, that is so true about people. I've tried to capture some of that in my piece.

Who do you show your writing to first?

My Dad - he's a writer himself, and he's the greatest editor and proof-reader on Earth.

Where do you get most of your writing done?

Mostly in my room at night when I should be asleep.

What book is closest to you right now – don't lie!

A Real Property textbook. I wish this was a lie.

What the best advice you have ever gotten about writing? And what's the best advice that you still ignore?

The best advice that I've ever gotten about writing came from my dad, who told me to write things I like writing. It's the simplest thing in the world, but if you don't like what you're doing, it's never going to be any good.

The advice I continually ignore is to make my sentences shorter. I'M TRYING DAD. I AM TRYING.

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

A cat. They just live the life.

What is the strangest object you own?

The skeleton of a shark's jaw, teeth included.

How long did it take you to write your bio?

About five minutes on the train.

Top three songs on your writing playlist?

I listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' album Stadium Arcadium on repeat when I'm writing.

What do you read as a guilty pleasure? What about just for normal pleasure?

Everything. I will read anything. If I run out of book I re-read the 'Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants' series. I love Young Adult fiction at the moment. I'm into Jonathan Franzen recently. I take any book of anyone's shelf.

What book do you pretend to have read to sound smart?

'Oh, I just re-reading War and Peace for the thirteenth time. I'm still getting so much out of it.' (Honestly though, if I'm around people who don't think Harry Potter is a classic, I'll just bail).

What literary tattoo would you get?

The first sentence of my first published book on the inside of my wrist. (Kidding).

What do you do when you aren't writing? 

My other passion is show jumping (the one where you ride horses over jumps), which I love because it involves being outside and talking to people and other things that writing does not involve. I'm also studying law (hence the Real Property textbook).

Send us your favourite picture of an animal? 

The photo is my very old Tonkinese cat Wolfy, who is really, really, really good at sitting on me.

zoe rochford animal photo