1. That book you always wanted to write. Where would you be most comfortable writing it?
I'd like to say "at home" but it isn't necessarily true. I learned long ago that I don't work well at home; there are too many other distractions (I think I'll just make some more tea... ooh, I haven't read that book in AGES... wonder if I have any new mail?) so I might have to find somewhere else to write. A library, maybe.
This might be the whole problem with writing, though. My attention span is shot to hell in these days of email and instant updates. :)
2. What's your favourite genre for reading, and for movies if it differs?
Reading: SF/fantasy. It has been since, oh, sometime in middle school (ages 9 - 13). I read a lot of other stuff, but that's definitely my preferred genre.
Films: I probably prefer comedy over SF for films. Not quite sure why that should be; possibly 'cause I've seen some unimaginably duff SF films in my time. Best of both worlds is combining the two, of course (e.g. Galaxy Quest)
3. When you were little, is there one holiday that stands out above all the others?
I'm guessing you mean in terms of Christmas, birthdays and the like, rather than vacations? In the UK, while we have other national holidays, they don't really have any great meaning attached to them - they might have done in the past, but it hasn't really come through to modern times. So the only holidays with any great meaning attached to them would be Christmas, New Year, Easter and birthdays (and Christmas and Easter didn't have that special a meaning since I come from a largely agnostic/atheist family).
I think it would have to be Christmas since it meant more time off school, more presents and the like. New Year didn't really come into its own until I was old enough to go to good parties at that time of year, and Easter didn't really have much going for it. Birthdays are usually only a single day's fun.
4. Is there one gift that you've always wished someone would get you for Christmas/Birthday/Other special occasion that they never have? (And what is it if so!) Or do people tend to gift you with the things you've wanted/needed without much prompting?
In recent years we've mostly worked off wishlists, because otherwise there's just far too much chance that we'll wind up with something we already have, especially in the book line. I guess that counts as 'prompting' ;). I don't think there's any one thing I've wanted and not got. Oh - except I was desperate for a light-sabre when I was younger, and never got one until about 1997....
5. If you were given the chance to 'make a difference' in the world, by solving one of society's ills, which would it be, and how do you think you would go about it?
Ow, tough question, because it breaks down into two parts, one of which is (relatively) easy to answer, and one of which is not.
If I had to pick one of the ills to solve, I think it would be to provide better education in areas where it's lacking, or missing altogether, now. I'd hope that that would help with solving many of the other problems, in the longer run.
As for how I'd go about solving it.... much more difficult question. There are so many factors which reduce people's chances to learn - lack of funds, lack of resources, society's attitudes to learning (e.g. those areas where only boys are sent to school) - trying to mitigate all of those enough to make a difference would be hard indeed. So I don't really have a good answer to that part.