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Friday, 13 November 2020




The Pivot Questionnaire comprises 10 questions. I have seen it used on the television show Inside The Actor's Studio, presented by James Lipton. Apparently Proust was the original inspiration. The modern questions originated on a French TV show called Bouillon de Culture, hosted by Bernard Pivot. I have expanded the questions to 12, and left room at the end for encouraging words.


This run of A Dozen Questions is by invitation only - 12 writers (of many) I admire. And then there's me at number 9!


Zoë Siobhan Howarth-Lowe is a Poet and Mum from Dukinfield. She has an MA in Poetry from Bath Spa University. Her first pamphlet 'Love is the way bark grows' came out with Half Moon Books in June 2019 and her second 'I have grown two hearts' with Hedgehog Press in Autumn 2020. Her First Collection is forthcoming with Indigo Dreams in 2021.

Her work has appeared in Anthologies and Journals including For the Silent, Atrium, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Picaroon, Algebra of Owls, Bonnie's Crew and Here Comes Everyone.


Twitter: @ZSHowarthLowe



(Zoe's book covers at the end.)


Zoë Siobhan Howarth-Lowe’s Dozen Answers, and 

some encouraging words in conclusion.


Q: What is your favourite word? 


A: This is such a difficult question! one of my ultimate favourite words has to be 'Ruckle' (as in a wrinkle in a carpet) I just find it a delicious word to use. 


Q: What is your least favourite word?


A: Nice. 

It is such a cop out of a word, just a really boring, magnolia thing. I think the word 'nice' shows that the speaker doesn't really care as there are so many better more evocative words to choose from. It is just a bit lazy. 


Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 


A: Movement, Trees, Dusk and Stillness. 


Q: What turns you off? 


A: Noisy, bustling crowds & taxidermy. 


Q: What is your favourite song? 


A: At the moment I keep playing Imagine Dragons, Believer. 

But I also love 'Leaves from the vine' from the animated show: Last Airbender. Its the lullaby I sing to my children. 


Q: What is your favourite film? 


A: I might have to be greedy here. I love Lilo & Stitch, Sense & Sensibility (with Alan Rickman as Col. Brandon) and the tv show Firefly. Firefly is just an amazing show, cowboys in space with such vivid characters. 


Q: What is your favourite curse word?  


A: I have never been a fan of curse words, I tend to go for alternatives. My most used has to be Smeg. 


Q: What sound or noise do you love? 


A: I love the sound of thunderstorms. I find the rain noise soothing.  


Q: What sound or noise do you hate? 


A: I love most animals, but one sound that I really don't like is the noise Peacocks make. I am not a fan of anything super loud or repetitive and I really hate the sound of people arguing. 


Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 


A: I have worked in Administration and in a Library, both of which are jobs I loved. I am mainly tempted by jobs involving books and writing things down. I used to tell myself that if everything went wrong I'd run away and join the circus. I would love to be graceful enough for the trapeze but I do have a talent for clumsiness. 


Q: What profession would you not like to do? 


A: I would be hopeless at anything high stress or requiring any sort of authority. I have a tiny little mouse voice that I struggle to get my own children to listen to so I doubt I'll be signing up as a CEO or Town Crier anytime soon. 


Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?


A: I think I would most relieved to even get an invite to the gates as I've always assumed I'm more of a fields of Asphodel, wandering soul type. I would love it if they just pointed me in the direction of the book corner. 


Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?


A: The best advice I ever got was to aim for 100 rejections a year. Since I started chasing rejections I've been lucky enough to have so much work accepted. Give yourself permission to fall because it also gives you the freedom to soar. 





Thank you Zoe for your dozen answers

and words of encouragement.  


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