Justine Larbalestier is an Australian writer who lives in Sydney and travels way too much. She's written a trilogy for young adults in which the door of a house in Sydney opens on to a street in New York City. The first volume is Magic or Madness. The second, Magic Lessons, was published in the US in March and will be out in Australia in September 2006. Justine also wrote the Hugo-shortlisted Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction and edited the scholarly anthology, Daughters of Earth. She blogs at Justine Larbalestier.
Why do you blog? > Cause all the other kids were bloggen. It started as a way to promote my books; it's continued cause I can't help myself. There's just too much I have to share with the world about cricket, the publishing industry, mangosteens, writing and Elvis.
What has been your best blogging experience? > I love the way it's put me in touch with so many cool people all over the world. I love the conversations that sometimes develop in the comments threads.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Write what you're passionate about or makes you giggle. Or both. Don't freak about no one reading you. Unless you're already well known it takes a long while to build up an audience. Though it helps if you talk about cats a lot.
What are your favourite blogs? > That's too hard. Here's three I go to every day: Westerblog (my husband's, but I really do love it), Go fug yourself (yup, I'm muy shallow), and Whatever (more shallowness).
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Angela Carter, Samuel R. Delany, Katie King.
What are you reading at the moment? > Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, David Milch, Biftek.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > It's a tie: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, The King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett, Sylvester by Georgette Heyer, and The Lizard's Tail by Luisa Valenzuela.
What is your favourite movie? > Bring It On.
What is your favourite song? > 'Ojala' by Silvio Rodriguez.
Who is your favourite composer? > Hildegard of Bingen.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > That any text can be read many different ways, but that some readings have more status, pull, importance, coherence, sanity, than others.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That everything is relative, particularly truth.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Katie King's Theory in its Feminist Travels (1994), where she argues that 'In order to know something we first have to make it... We produce the things we know, that's how we come to know them.' This can be a good thing; it can also be a very very bad thing.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Churchill on democracy: 'Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.'
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Make combating global warming the centre of all policy: getting us off our dependency on cars, switching to solar and other sustainable energies. (One minor change I'd make is to have Australia be a republic and get the Queen of England off our money.)
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > No.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Passion.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Passion.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To save lives - or, you know, to make a story better.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I'm very anti-England. Though not all of England, just the south. Well, okay, just poncy talks-like-the-Queen England. But I forgive England many things cause that's where cricket was invented.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Smoking.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > That I'll never finish another book, global warming, that cricket isn't yet the most popular sport on the planet, the persistence of lowriders, the publishing industry collapsing.
What would you call your autobiography? > Sloth Overcome: The Justine Larbalestier Story.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Gertrude Lawrence.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Hanging out and talking crap with my friends, reading (especially books about the history of cricket), exploring new cities.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Cassandra Claire.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Cathy Freeman, Annette Kellerman, Keith Miller, the Palwankar brothers - who were the first untouchables to play cricket for India - and Theresa Witherspoon.
Which basketball teams do you support? > The New York Liberty who play in the US women's national basketball association and the Sydney Flames who play in the Australian equivalent.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]