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

Tuesday 18 December 2012

12 Curly Questions with author Jacqueline Harvey

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I’m highly allergic to shellfish and carry an Epipen in my handbag.

2. What is your nickname?
Jacq – especially by my family and close friends.

3. What is your greatest fear?
As I’ve gotten older I have an increasing fear of heights. I can’t stand watching movies where people are doing crazy rock climbing without harnesses or scenes like in the lastest Mission Impossible where Tom Cruise scales the outside of the tallest building in Dubai. My husband was watching that recently and I had to get up and leave the room as it makes me feel physically sick – which is ridiculous I know. I am quite all right inside tall buildings but the Top of the Rock – the viewing platform at the Rockefeller Centre in New York did make me a little queasy too.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Fun, mysterious, adventurous, interesting characters, complicated, over the top, visual.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Persistent, hardworking, focused, sensitive and funny (well there are times that tragically, I think I’m funny).

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Alice-Miranda. She has an amazing life, she’s kind beyond anything I could possibly imagine and she’s the best version of who I would want to be. If I couldn’t be her I’d be Heidi because I have a very romantic notion of living in the Swiss Alps.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
There are so many places that appeal; Victorian England, Ancient Rome or Egypt, the future – to see how it all turns out. But if I had to choose one place I would go back to the 1920s when my great grandmother was a young woman and I would find out more about my Indigenous family from the central west of New South Wales.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
‘Do you really know Andy Griffiths? That’s so cool!’

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My husband Ian. About 12 years ago he pointed out that I talked a lot about wanting to be a writer. I agreed with him. But it was when he asked me if I was ever going to do anything about it, or just talk about it for the rest of my life that I was really determined not to die wondering. He is my greatest supporter – when we travelled across the US and UK for 13 weeks earlier this year he came to almost all of my school visits. He heard me speak so many times I’m sure that he could have done the talks for me.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I fell in love with reading as a child and always loved telling stories myself. I wrote plays and poems and stories for the children in my classes and it just sort of grew from there.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
My editor would probably say that it’s ‘smiled’ because I tend to overdo the smiling in my early story drafts. I don’t have one favourite word – there are so many great ones.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That just doesn’t sound fair. If there was only one it would have to be the most enormous collection of short stories by all of my favourite authors.

For more information on Jacqueline or any other of her books visit jacquelineharvey.com.au

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