Born in New Zealand, Hannah Tunnicliffe is a self-confessed nomad. She previously lived in Canada, Australia, England, Macau and, while travelling Europe, a campervan named Fred. She currently lives in New Zealand with her husband and three daughters, having ditched a career in Human Resources to become an author.

When she is not writing or reading she can usually be found baking or eating and sometimes all four at the same time (which is probably somewhat hazardous). She is founder and co-author of the blog Fork and Fiction, which, unsurprisingly,explores her twin loves – books and food.

When she is not writing or reading she can
usually be found baking or eating and sometimes
all four at the same time (which is probably somewhat hazardous).

Q & A

How did you become an author?

Well, um…first I tried many other things?! Most significantly I worked in Human Resources for many years, my last role was Human Resources Director for a business in Macau, China with over four thousand employees. I knew Human Resources wasn’t quite right for me but I had no idea what was right for me so I completed a qualification to become a career coach / counselor. I diligently followed my curiosities towards writing, with some interesting detours, and wrote the first draft of my first book, The Colour of Tea, while living in Asia. That I now get to write as a job, for real, is both baffling and thrilling.

Favorite authors and most impactful books?

How long do you have? It’s like picking your favourite child (the cute one who is being nice to me today). I cannot go past the authors I read as a kid that introduced me to the magical world-building potential of words including LM Montgomery and Enid Blyton. As an adult I have loved work by Alice Hoffman, Ruth Ozeki, Amy Tan, Isabel Allende, Jodi Picoult and Barbara Kingsolver. Now, happily surrounded by a community of other writers and readers, I’m falling in love with new children’s fiction, fiction for young adults, New Zealand fiction, novels in verse and graphic novels. Authors like Marjane Satrapi, Marcus Zuzak, Patricia Grace and Sharon Creech are current faves. How good is a life filled with books?

How do you write? What is your writing practice?

I write ten thousand words a day, every day, in a quiet room with pale-coloured walls while sipping hot water and lemon. Not. At. All. My writing practice is irregular and regularly interrupted. Depending on the stage I am working on (first draft, editing, copy-editing) I try to work at least three days a week and set myself a target of a number of words or chapters to get through. I like to work in bustling, noisy places like cafes, with a pot of tea at my elbow dangerously close to spilling all over my laptop. Living life on the edge…

What are your favourite things?

My family are my favourite three things – my husband and my three littlies. Then the wider family: wonderful parents and awesome siblings and, I have to admit, I scored great in-laws, which is a major bonus. Combinations of delightful, delicious things like tea + friends, book + hot bath, cake + laughter. Food, just quietly, oh my goodness, Food. Then there are actual objects like prayer beads made from rose petals, silver napkin rings with initials engraved (a wedding present from my Nana), fresh flowers, black and white photos of my girls, a small brass rabbit, a faded photo of my parents smooching on a beach (is that weird? It’s so cute, you should see it), a signed copy of Potiki by Patricia Grace. Finally – I really love my job, it is a dear and favourite thing, and emails from readers truly make my week.

What next?

More. More writing and more stories, in whichever genre and medium my readers allow me to mess about in.

Three Words that sum up your life right now?

Blessed. Busy. Beautiful.