R. J. Anderson

Timothy Jacobs / Studio Down Under

R. J. Anderson isn’t trying to hide that she’s female, she just thinks initials look more writerly. According to her mother she started reading at the age of two; all she knows is that she can’t remember a single moment of her life when she wasn’t obsessed with stories. She grew up reading C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, watching Doctor Who from behind the sofa, and hanging out in her brothers’ comic book shop. Now she writes novels about knife-wielding faeries, weird science, and the numinous in the modern world. Quicksilver, her latest novel, also has soldering and pancakes.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

What’s your favorite line from a book?

I have many, but this one was the first that came to mind: “If I am the pawn of the gods, it is because they know me so well, not because they make my mind up for me.” — Megan Whalen Turner, The Queen of Attolia

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Oh, that’s a terrible choice to have to make; I love so many. I’ve already mentioned Lewis, Tolkien, and Megan Whalen Turner, so I’ll toss in a few other favorites: Dorothy Sayers, Mary Stewart, and Lois McMaster Bujold.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

Loving books and stories as passionately as I did as a child, it would have been almost impossible for me to consider doing anything else.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Read voraciously—and widely. The more genres and authors you read, the more you’ll learn about the many different ways there are to tell a good story.