Profile with Danielle Clode 

Danielle Clode (South Australia & Balliol 1990) is a Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Flinders University.  After earning her DPhil in Zoology at the University of Oxford, she became a freelance writer and is currently completing her seventh book.

Rhodes Project: Where do you call home?

Danielle Clode: Australia.

Rhodes Project: What piece of technology could you not live without?

Danielle Clode: My computer. I think I spend most of my life on it.

Rhodes Project: When you were a kid, what did you aspire to be later in life?

Danielle Clode: When I was in primary school, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I figured that I wanted to live near the sea, so I needed a job that would let me do that.

Rhodes Project: What is the best part of your job now?

Danielle Clode: The best part of my job is the flexibility to pursue whatever interests I have. As a writer, I can write about anything I want to and explore whatever takes my fancy.

Rhodes Project: What is the most challenging part?

Danielle Clode: The most challenging part is also the most gratifying You can write about something that you’re really interested in, but to do it in a way that interests other people is a real challenge.

Rhodes Project: What advice would you give to a young woman who wanted to be a writer?

Danielle Clode: Get a day job. Writing is a very difficult occupation to earn a living from and people tend to have a second occupation or profession up their sleeve to keep them alive in the meantime. Writing can be very flexible in that you can do it from your own home and part-time, which is particularly suited to having children. That is when my writing really took off. But I am also happy to do a wide range of different types of writing. I used to do a lot of editing, professional writing and technical writing. I think having a fairly broad portfolio of skills is very important.

Rhodes Project: Who is your favourite fictional heroine?

Danielle Clode: Dorothea from Middlemarch. She’s a pretty inspirational character.

Rhodes Project: Who is your favourite real-life heroine?

Danielle Clode: That’s a tricky one. I suppose Jane Goodall was a particular heroine of mine early on, along with Dian Fossey. I trained as a zoologist so I was particularly interested in how they dedicated their lives to their research and took on roles that were traditionally restricted to men. Doing that field work would have been quite difficult—extremely difficult in Dian Fossey’s case.

Rhodes Project: What do you do to relax?

Danielle Clode: Read books, garden and look after my chickens.

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