'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 31 July 2012

12 Curly Questions with author Fiona McIntosh

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I really want to have a pet donkey. And I'd like to walk in the footsteps of the pilgrims in the world - something like the Santiago de Compostela ... even just the French bit of the pilgrimage would be fun ... especially with a donkey!

2. What is your nickname? 
At school I was called Fuzz. I really don't know why! These days one of my 21 year old sons calls me Gypsy - again I can't quite remember why that came about but it makes me laugh a lot. My husband calls me 'Big One' because he claims everyone in the house is frightened of me. 

3. What is your greatest fear? 
Ooh, I get a bit fearful around spiders I must be honest. It's an entirely irrational fear but while I want them nowhere in sight I can't ever kill them. They have to be escorted from the house by my husband in a jar and asked politely to leave. I also fear running out of chocolate in the house...that is a moment for absolute panic!

4. Describe your writing style in ten words. 
Fast. Gunslinging. Organic. Emotional. Brutal. Imaginative. Creative. Suspenseful. Commercial. Easy.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Happy. Optimistic. Goal-setting. Motivated. Disciplined.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Aslan. He's heroic, powerful, totally in control, self sacrificing and generous.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
Back to 1965, just starting junior primary school which was such a deliriously happy time for me. I was so ready to get to school, make friends, learn, play sport. I like the idea of being a child again without any responsibilities. Most of all, I want to see my Granny again. She was a very special person in my life. And I want all the elders in my family to be young again. 

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now? 
Take that fantastic university place that is offered to you when you turn 18.
Don't lose the French you've been learning since you were seven years old.
Think again about wearing that green coat with purple platform shoes when you're 14.
Start writing in your twenties, not forties.

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
My granny. She gave me a love of reading, storytelling. She also instilled in me a sense of generosity and caring for others - especially older people. Granny was brave, fierce, independent, kind, a great traveller. She had a big laugh and she raised seven children alone because my grandfather died very young. And then she was hugely involved in the raising the next generation and had a major influence on all of us. She was the matriarch of the family and even though I was ten when she died, she still influences me and how I think and behave.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
I was turning 40 - I know, ancient! And I didn't want what I was doing then in the travel industry to be the sum of my career. It really was a sort of mid-life criris and I wanted to do something that left my mark on the world and I particularly wanted to tackle a new challenge that explored my imagination and creativity. Storytelling was something I knew I could do if I gave myself the right time and opportunity. I had young children and loved the idea of writing books that one day they may read and that their children might read when they grew up. I love the longevity of books and stories.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Dream. It's what I do best. It's also when I come up with my ideas, when I am able to set exciting goals, when I feel invincible and most motivated. In my dreams I can fly and it's the most amazing feeling. 

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
The Dictionary. I never get bored of it and I love learning new words.

Fiona's latest book, The Rumpelgeist, is out now!

If you are an author or illustrator who thinks they are BRAVE enough to answer our questions, 
OR if there is an author or illustrator you would like to hear from, LET US KNOW! 
We will see if they are up to the task. Just email: kellyATkids-bookreviewDOTcom