Four Trivial Questions for our Finalists

Ahead of tomorrow night's Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, we asked our three fiction finalists some trivial questions.

Pip Adam, author of The New Animals


It’s the Ockham’s on Tuesday night - what is your outfit and what song will be playing as you enter the ASB Theatre to take your seat?
I haven’t quite decided yet, but I do know it’ll be second-hand and I’ll feel weird in it and wish I’d worn the other outfit. I know most of the words to ‘Bodys’ by Car Seat Headrest so that’d be nice – a bit of an under-my-breath sing-along while I try to sit down – trying to remember the technology of chairs. That line, about how bodies can fall apart at any second – that’s always encouraging, you know, when you’re anxious cause your body’s in the company of other people and you’re anxious.


If you win the big Acorn Foundation Prize for fiction worth $50,000, what will you eat for breakfast on Wednesday morning?
You know that thing where you buy some cereal and a box of soy milk from the 24-hour dairy the night before and smuggle it into your room so you can eat out of a coffee mug the next morning without going anywhere or seeing anyone? I like that.


What writer visiting the Auckland Writers Festival are you most excited about bugging for a selfie?

Do I have a selfie-stick? Is the room crowded or is it one of those covert situations where we’re both smuggling cereal into the Aotea Centre? Do I have the chance to maybe hold up a line? Is it one of those selfies where I ask them to take a photo of me?

What’s the best NZ book you’ve read in the last 12 months?

I’m so glad someone else has to decide this because I have loved lots of New Zealand books this year. Thank you to everyone for so many great books! Well done Aotearoa, keep on writing!


Patrick Evans, author of Salt Picnic

It’s the Ockhams on Tuesday night - what is your outfit?
An off-the-shoulder number in crushed chipmunk, plus a pair of cords from Norm Withers Menswear, Wairakei Road, CH.

What song will be playing as you enter the ASB Theatre to take your seat?

Freight Train’ sung by Frankie Laine.

If you win the big Acorn Foundation Prize for fiction worth $50,000, what will you eat for breakfast on Wednesday morning?
Berocca crunchies and a Metamucil smoothie.

What writer visiting the Auckland Writers Festival are you most excited about bugging for a selfie?
Karl Ove Knausgaard.

What’s the best NZ book you’ve read in the last 12 months?

Tess by Kirsten McDougall.

Annaleese Jochems, author of Baby

It’s the Ockham’s on Tuesday night - what is your outfit and what song will be playing as you enter the ASB Theatre to take your seat?
I think it would be cool if a compilation of different ‘ouches’ from Brittany Spears songs played as I entered, but I’ll settle for ‘Opps!... I did it again,’ if that proves technically difficult. Outfit-wise I will wear my regular clothes with a lovely soft scarf to weep into.


If you win the big Acorn Foundation Prize for fiction worth $50,000, what will you eat for breakfast on Wednesday morning?
I’d probably still be swallowing vomit & feeling like something’s being boiled in my intestines. No, I would have a nice egg on toast to remind me of my dad and his 40 chickens, followed by a healthy scoop of Metamucil. If I don’t win and things are less risky I’ll have two eggs.


What writer visiting the Auckland Writers Festival are you most excited about bugging for a selfie?

Jenny Zhang will be exciting and she’s someone I hadn’t heard of, but I certainly won’t be asking her for a selfie. I’ll be artfully avoiding eye-contact, sitting in the back of her sessions, darting around corners, and hiding in my hotel room reading her books.


What’s the best NZ book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
Fale Aitu, by Tusiata Avia is forceful in a way I sometimes forget poetry can be. It makes me think of umami – foods like fried kidney, tomatoes, or miso soup.