Miss Ward is a year older. Let's see what she has to say for herself.
Would you like to tell us how old you are turning?
36! I'm an old! Nah, I'm just getting going.
At what age did you first start writing?
I wrote my first story on my first day of kindergarten, it was illustrated and everything. It was one sentence: 'I can swim'. As I could not swim at the time, it was fiction.
What is the most significant change you’ve witnessed in your lifetime?
I've witnessed long-overdue progression on sexuality and identity, but of course, there's a ways to go. Of course, the technological advancement in just my lifetime has been astounding. And television got really good.
What has happened that you wished hadn’t happened?
The rise of nationalism and xenophobia has really surprised and horrified me. I had such hope that the world would become more open, not less.
What is one thing you’d like to exist but doesn’t?
Teleportation devices. I'm petrified of flying (even though I do it all the time), but maybe I'd just develop a phobia of teleportation, so who knows?
If you had a robot helper what would you name it?
'You there'. Not really, that's a Futurama joke. I guess it would depend on what form the robot took. Also, I'm terrible with names: my first pet was a fish called 'Spot' and I had a cat called 'Kitty' for seventeen years, so it would probably be something silly and basic.
What does the next year hold for you?
Things keep coming up and surprising me, so I love that element of mystery about what cool things I might get to do. I'm headed to the World Science Fiction convention in San Jose in August and I'm really looking forward to that. The third and final book in my Mirii Mahoney series is due out later this year. I'm also producing and hosting a podcast called Catastropod, which is about the apocalypse in myth and media (mostly media.) I'm really looking forward to releasing that soon.
Had we organised a present, hypothetically :), what should it have been?
I'd have loved some high quality podcast-recording equipment. Failing that, a black vintage dress, size medium.
Which book would you spend your afternoon reading if you had the time today?
I did have time to read a book today! I finished Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills this afternoon in the bath. If I have time tomorrow I'm going to start re-reading The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison for my podcast.
If you could travel back in time to meet your younger self, what would you do or say to them?
I'd tell little Marlee what an exciting and cool life was ahead of her and how she would get to make books like she always wanted. And not to be so sad. And to never start smoking.