Katherine Langrish grew up in Yorkshire but has lived in an awful lot of places since, including France and the US. She studied English at London University, worked for Lloyd's Register of Ships (where she encountered a man who said he could see Armada shipwrecks at the bottom of the sea with his magic eye) and is the author of several fantasies for children and young adults including Troll Fell and Dark Angels (published in the US as The Shadow Hunt). Kath describes her books as 'history with the beliefs put back in'. They have been translated into nine languages, are based in the 10th and 12th centuries, and include fantastical creatures such as trolls, ghosts, house spirits and water spirits taken from the folklore and legends of the era. She blogs at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, where she talks about magic, myth and folklore to anyone who will listen.
Why do you blog? > I started blogging part time - about once a month - on the roll of An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, and then decided last autumn I would make one of my own. I like the freedom I have to talk about things which are important to me. Myth, fantasy, folklore, and YA and children's writing.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Looking at the stats showing the map of visitors to my blog by country, and realizing that they come from all over the world. That was exciting.
What would be your main advice to a novice blogger? > Know why you are doing it. Focus on what is important to you. And be yourself.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > John Stuart Mill, the Suffragists, Friedrich Engels.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Robert Graves (for being a bloody-minded individualist: I love his essays as Professor of Poetry at Oxford, where he unfairly but brilliantly eviscerates The Oxford Book of English Verse.) And C.S. Lewis for his wonderfully readable literary criticism (English Literature in the 16th Century, Excluding Drama really smoothed my path as an undergraduate.)
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Has to be Middlemarch.
What is your favourite song? > The Irish folksong 'She Moved Through The Fair'.
Who is your favourite composer? > Chopin.
Who are your political heroes? > Aung San Suu Kyi.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > What it's always been: a mixture of poverty and injustice, leading to resentment, hatred and violence.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > It won't last, so don't waste it.
What personal fault do you dislike most? > Intolerance.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I'm very prejudiced against people who knock on the door in the middle of the day and ask if I've ever thought about God.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Them as lives in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching TV. Well. Most of the time.
What would your ideal holiday be? > As we haven't taken any holidays longer than a weekend for about two years, any holiday longer than a weekend would seem ideal... but ideally, a mixture of travel and relaxation with books to read, meals cooked for me, and aperitifs under a shady vine with bread and olives.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Walking the dog, reading, gardening. What spare time?
What is your most treasured possession? > My dog.
What talent would you most like to have? > I should like to be able to play a musical instrument. But only if a fairy-godmother gave it me as a gift – I haven't the dedication to learn properly.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Can't really imagine not writing, but I'd like to try making mosaics.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Bill Bailey. And James Thurber.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Anyone on the Paralympic teams.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > What, no world peace, or the abolition of poverty? Ummm... can I have a weed-free garden and a perfectly manicured lawn?
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I would feel guilty, but I would buy a Georgian house in the country, with views over hills, and then try to assuage the guilt by some form of philanthropism.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do?) > In the aforementioned Georgian house, in an unfrequented bit of the Yorkshire Dales.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner, who would they be? > Charlotte, Anne and Emily Brontë.
What animal would you most like to be? > It would be interesting trying out being a bat, so long as I could change back. Though I'm not sure about having to eat all those insects.
[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.]