Kirsten Le Harivel

Kirsten Le Harivel is a writer, project/programme manager and mother. Although born in Scotland and of Scottish, English and French heritage she lives with her family on the Kāpiti Coast of Aotearoa.

Her writing has been published in various international literary journals and she has an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters.

She has a background in programme and project management in the arts, youth and refugee sectors and brings a wide range of experience in working in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environments.

Where or when were you the happiest?
In a specific literary sense it was the moment I realized that being part of a community and being a writer were possible – at the 2012 Port Townsend Writers Conference.

What are your pet peeves?
The remains of breakfast on the table at dinnertime and tokenism.

What is your favorite season? 
Autumn because everything changes.

What living person do you most admire?
There are too many to choose – people who live their lives simply and with dignity, respect and humility.

If you could be a non-human animal for a day, what would you be?
An eagle or an albatross

What is your most marked characteristic?
I talk a lot!

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Indecisiveness

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Thoughtlessness and the conscious and deliberate hurting of others.

What do your friends say about you behind your back?
I have no idea.

Who are your favorite heroes or heroines in fiction?
Everyday people who are rendered to show their true extraordinariness.

What fictional characters do you most dislike?
Flat female characters.

Who are your favorite musicians?
I wish I had grown up in the Motown era.

Who are your heroes in real life?
As above, people who live their lives simply and with dignity, respect and humility.

What talent do you wish you had?
The ability to dispel pain and anger.

What is your present state of mind?
Restful and optimistic

On what occasions do you lie?
When my stepson won’t eat his dinner.

What historical figure do you most identify with?
I haven’t really thought about this question.

What is your favorite journey?
Any destination as long as I get to devolve all responsibility to a bus or train driver and just look out the window.

What living person do you most despise?
I try not to.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing all the people I love at once.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Making time to do what I really enjoy and believe in – it feels like a luxury in the world we live in.

What is your greatest hope?
That each of us finds our true purpose in life and follows it.

What do you most value in your friends?
Genuineness, generosity and enthusiasm

Who are your favorite writers?
It’s hard to narrow down to a small group, but these writers stick in my mind: Li-Young Lee, Don Paterson, Sia Figiel, Anne Michaels, Aravind Adiga, Pankaj Mishra, Margaret Atwood, Tan Twan Eng, Rainer Maria Rilke, Karen Solie, Khalid Hosseini, Lavinia Derwent and the list could go on.

What is your motto?
To treat every person I meet with the same level of courtesy and respect. To try to make a difference to the world around me, without focusing on what’s wrong.