Here's a professional Q&A I answered for IdeasTap
- I like
Singing (my neighbours may like it less, granted), theatre, my cats (Amy as in Winehouse, Polly as in PJ Harvey) chocolate, 80/90s indie, European history, Japanese novels, Italian food, political satire, strong women, shouting at Question Time, plain English, my Macbook, wine or tea depending on the time of day. When I'm not writing or sitting in front of you I can mostly be found getting riled or excited on Twitter.
- I don't like
Companies who advertise other jobs as journalism/writing jobs to attract literate applicants. "Able to spell" doesn't equal "Able to do anything", "Numerate" or "Good at high-level admin."
- Why do you have a silly long name?
- What do you like being called when?
I'm Maxine Frances Roper for bylines and anything professional, Maxine Roper for everyday admin, Max to good friends and Maxine everywhere else. (Note to PRs/Marketers: Please don't start your unsolicited emails with 'Dear Maxine Frances': it sounds as though you're about to tell me off or propose - I don't mind either of those in principle but I'd prefer them in person...).
- Do you come from a media family background?
- Where do you get your feature ideas from?
From life experience (mine and other people's), from unexplored/underexplored angles on news, and from having contacts in a field I can peg well to a trend or event.
- What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
If I was good at number-crunching, I'd be a psychologist. If I was good enough at teaching, I'd be a PSHE/SRE teacher If I didn't have the spatial awareness and dexterity of a turnip, I'd like to be an actress or singer (although I'm not sure if I could cope with the effect most singers and thesps have had on me, so on balance I'll hush up and thank my DNA...).
- What exactly is dyspraxia?
There are many definitions in different places around the web, including The Open University, BBC Health and the Dyspraxia Foundation. Most people know it as a problem with physical coordination (it used to be reported as 'Clumsy Child Syndrome'). Dyspraxia also causes problems with short-term memory and the way a person processes certain kinds of information. In simple terms, a dyspraxic profile means someone is very good with words and less good at things that don't involve words. The effect it has on a person's work will depend on what they're doing (see 'I don't like', above) and what the production cycle is. Clear, consistent instructions, a quality-not-quantity mindset and set routines are all helpful.
- I see you wrote a piece about lesbian theatre. Are you...?
To quote a friend: "Your bisexuality is visible from space, Maxine" (I dispute that, although it'd be quite fun to have on my business cards...).
- Do people react to your portfolio by singing the GoCompare jingle?
However did you guess?