I never learnt to play the recorder at school. I used to just blow and move my fingers and hope that the other students would drown out my appalling racket. We once had an individual test. It wasn’t pretty. (NB: I can actually play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ and ‘Oh When the Saints’ in case you’re looking for someone for a wedding, party or bar mitzvah.)
2. What is your nickname?
Tristo the Bisto the Rickstickstisto
3. What is your greatest fear?
Falling (from a long way up.)
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Unadorned. Humorous. Page-turning. This is what I aim for.
5. Tell us nine positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hopefully funny. High energy. Wrestling ideas. Showing not telling.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
I was always Huck Finn in the school book parade (I’m in the middle looking at camera in the pic). I want to be one of those kids striking out into the unknown and surviving, like Huck or maybe Brian Robeson in Hatchet.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
2013. I would bring back the lottery numbers and race winners, accumulate a fortune and buy myself time to write books, think about things and create. I would set up creative residencies and hothouses for writers all over the world and give an obscene amount of money to Room to Read in order to obliterate illiteracy and educate children everywhere. ;-)
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
‘Can you read me a story?’
9. Who is your greatest influence?
No individual. I am inspired by many great people: Ernest Hemingway, Walt Disney, Joseph Campbell, Thich Nhat Hanh, Cormac McCarthy, Jim Bancks, Roald Dahl, my kids, Steven Spielberg, Paul Jennings, Martin Scorsese, Robert Rauschenberg, Stephen King.
10. What/who made you start writing?
It was an urge. I couldn’t stop it. I tried.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Optimistic. It is open and hopeful and inspiring. I think most of us would like to be ‘optimistic’. Feels good even to write it. And there is nothing more boring than pessimism.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Joseph Campbell’s Reflections on the Art of Living.
If it was a kids’ / YA book, maybe Holes by Louis Sachar or Huckleberry Finn.
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