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Saturday, 14 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!

Byddi Lee is the author of “Rejuvenation,” a speculative fiction trilogy, published by Castrum Press. She has published flash fiction, short stories and her novel, “March to November.” Byddi co-founded and manages Flash Fiction Armagh, shortlisted as Best Regular Spoken Word Night in the Saboteur Awards. She co-edits “The Bramley – An Anthology of Flash Fiction Armagh.” Along with two other members of the Armagh Theatre Group, Byddi co-wrote: “IMPACT – Armagh’s Train Disaster” which was staged for the anniversary of the tragedy in June 2019 in the Abbey Lane Theatre in Armagh. She co-wrote “Zoomeo & Juliet” and “Social Bubble, Toil & Trouble” – live plays performed on Zoom by the Armagh Theatre during the lockdown. Byddi is an Arts Council Northern Ireland supported writer.


(Book covers at the end.)

Byddi Lee's's Dozen Answers, and 

some encouraging words in conclusion.


Q: What is your favourite word? 


A: Plethora – I love it! It’s deceptive because I think it takes much longer to say than it looks. It has a plethora of syllables! 


Q: What is your least favourite word?


A: Apocalypse – For the exact opposite reason I like ‘plethora’ – it seems to lose syllables. I keep adding an extra ‘pop’ in after the ‘A’ and wind up having difficulty pronouncing it… 


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


A: Nature and kindness… I love the colours of the sunrise and sunset. I love frosty mornings, and mist in the hollows of the fields, and a silvery full moon reflected on the ocean, and rainbows, and all that malarkey. But I also love watching people be good to one another in simple ways, like when a car stops to let another out. Or someone holds a door for another person, or the random compliment to a stranger… I love those little moments that sparkle in life.


Q: What turns you off? 


A: Cruelty, bullying, selfishness. It’s just simpler to be kind, isn’t it?


Q: What is your favourite song?  

A: Ennio Morricone’s ‘Gabriel's Oboe’ is my absolute favourite song ever, but I find it so emotive that I can hardly get through it without crying, so I tend to listen more often to the close runners up, Bon Jovi’s ‘Living On a Prayer’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.


Q: What is your favourite film? 


A: Gone With the Wind has always been my first love movie-wise – I’m a bit embarrassed about that now. I fell in love with it as a child, focusing on the romance and the dresses and the feisty lead female, Scarlet O'Hara. But now I’m better educated, I understand the issues that people have with how it portrayed slavery, downplaying the injustice and cruelty that black people endured. Being a ‘product of its time’ is not an excuse, in my opinion, and now, I’d like to see it used as a discussion point to highlight white privilege and the power of story and truth in our real-world narrative.


Q: What is your favourite curse word? 

A: Feck! Because I feel I can get away with it even in ‘polite’ company (though apparently not in video calls when my friend’s seven-year-old is in the background - Oops my bad!) 


Q: What sound or noise do you love? 


A: Birdsong and bees buzzing when I’m working in the garden – it’s so life affirming and hopeful. It was especially comforting during lockdown this summer. 


Q: What sound or noise do you hate? 


A: The noise of the extractor fan in the kitchen. When it’s on full power it interferes with my brain! It seems to overload my sensory input and I can’t think straight so I kind of short circuit and can’t concentrate on making the dinner. Which is unfortunate because that's why the fan is on to begin with – vicious circle.  


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


A:  I sometime wish I were a midwife or vet – or better still a midwife and a vet at the same time - just birthing baby animals. Imagine the cuddles!


Q: What profession would you not like to do? 


A: Traffic Warden. Either I’d be rubbish at it, 

‘“ah give him another five minutes, he’ll move then. Sure he’s not doing any harm. Just nipped into the shop for a wee minute.’ Or the power would go to my head and I’d be a complete jobs-worth and ticket anything that didn’t move! 


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


A: You were right about heaven – it’s just like you imagined!


Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?


A: Just write. Write anything. Keep writing. It’s a long journey and success is not measured by the number of books you have published or the number of awards you win, or the fan base you have… success is measured by the number of mornings you wake up with the urge to keep writing and then do.



Thank you Byddi for your dozen answers

and words of encouragement. 

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