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

Tuesday 2 October 2012

12 Curly Questions with author Melina Marchetta

photo credit: Marc Burlace (2011)
1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
Much like one third of the world’s population, I have a longer second toe than big toe on both feet. There are many boring explanations for this, but those I like best are that it’s a sign of (a) dominance (b) creativity (c) aristocratic descent.

2.     What is your nickname?
I’ve had quite a few and still do.  Mel. Melly. Smelly. Chetts. My nephews call me Mia because they couldn’t say my name when they started speaking and it’s just stuck over the years.

3.     What is your greatest fear?
Too many to list.  And I fear that if I list them, I’ll jinx myself.  So my greatest fear could be naming my greatest fear.  If I have to name the basic ones then I’ll go rats and cockroaches.

4.     Describe your writing style in ten words.  (The Lumatere Chronicles)
Detailed. Dramatic. Emotional. Dark. Hopeful. Edgy. Romantic. Action-packed.   Elaborate. 

5.     Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Un-disciplined. Un-structured. Focused.  Hard-working.

6.     What book character would you be, and why?
Lee from the Landscapes of Ephemera books. He builds bridges between parallel worlds.

7.     If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
I’ve just spent four years writing a fantasy trilogy and researching the year 1000, so regardless of how awful it would have been especially when it came to toilets and monthly baths and other repulsive hygiene issues, I’d love to see if the middle ages were exactly as I’ve imagined them to be. 
I’d also probably go back to the 70’s and whisper into Sister Mary’s ear that I would make a great Brigitta Von Trapp rather than my cousin Lucy (sorry Lucy. Never got over it).

8.     What would your ten-year-old self say to you now? 
 ‘See. Who said that living in our own world is a bad thing.’

9.     Who is your greatest influence?  
My grandmother had this ability to laugh regardless of how tough her life was. And my grandfather was a hard worker, And my grandparents on the Marchetta side had really generous spirits. I try to embrace all of what they had to offer.

10.  What/who made you start writing?
I would never have started writing if naturally I hadn’t started reading and when I was in first grade I had learning problems and couldn’t read. (My kindy teacher was a tyrant who canned me every time I wrote my 4s back the front) So my mum came up to the school to speak to my first grade teacher because both my sisters were reading geniuses.  When Mrs Crotty, explained how difficult it was teaching 40 kids to read, especially when so many came from non English speaking backgrounds, my mum spent every weekday afternoon helping her and she didn’t stop until I Ieft the school six years later.

11.  What is your favourite word and why?
 Solace. I love it’s meaning and the way it feels on the tongue.

12.  If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?  
I’d be very sad if there was only one book left in my life. I change my mind weekly. I’d probably choose a book whose community of characters I’d want to hang out with. This week it’s the abovementioned Landscapes of Ephemera books by Anne Bishop.

Melina's brand new book, Quintana of Charyn, is out now! This is the third book in The Lumatere Chronicles which also features Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles.

If you are an author or illustrator who thinks they are BRAVE enough to answer our questions,
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