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

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Susan Whelan - KBR Managing Editor

Involved with Kids' Book Review for several years, Susan Whelan took on the role of Managing Editor in February 2013. A freelance writer and book reviewer, Susan is passionate about sharing inspiring, entertaining and memorable books with children of all ages.

Susan is responsible for the day-to-day running of Kids' Book Review, making sure that everything keeps humming along smoothly and the site continues to provide teachers, parents, teens and children with information about great books, authors and literary events.

You can find out more about Susan at the Kids' Book Review About page:

Susan answers Kids' Book Review's 12 Curly Questions

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I can’t stand Brussels sprouts. The mere thought of them makes me shudder.

2. What is your nickname? 
A close friend calls me Sooze, but only when she is trying to annoy me.

3. What is your greatest fear? 
The ‘trying to impress you’ answer is a life lived without passion. The ‘deep in the hidden recesses of my soul’ answer is that one day my survival might depend upon my ability to work out for more than 60 continuous seconds on a step-master.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Balancing information with warmth and humour.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Quirky, thoughtful, eclectic, honest, improving.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affair etc). Thursday is a literary detective who gets to travel in and out of books to solve literary crimes, meeting characters and wandering behind the scenes in books of all genres and styles. If her job was real, I would sign up immediately.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I honestly don’t know. I’m torn between going back in time to meet favourite authors and historical figures and jumping back to give my pre-teen self a good talking to.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Can I borrow your iPad?

9. Who is your greatest influence?
People who live their lives with passion and purpose. This includes my children, several writers, those who worked (and continue to work) for social reform and innovators in a range of fields. I am inspired by those who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and to live and think outside the square.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed playing with words. I love that I can arrange words on a page to create an image, evoke an emotion, entertain or inform.

11.What is your favourite word and why? Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (Translation: Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services). I love the way that Germans squish a ridiculous number of nouns together to create the most beguiling, tongue-twisting compound words.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
I confess I’m a bit of a Bard fangirl (I even own a Shakespeare action figure), so I would choose the annotated Complete Works of Shakespeare – comedy, tragedy, romance, passion, intrigue, history, poetry and so much more.  If I’m going to be limited to just one book, it needs to have as much variety as possible.

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