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

Tuesday 11 June 2013

12 Curly Questions with author Rosanne Hawke

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I was attacked by a sow when I was seven. My father saved me.

2. What is your nickname?
Rosy. My brother used to call me ‘boy’ or ‘pigface’.  My dad called me Rose.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Things like 26,000 children will die today from starvation and preventable disease and those people with the resources and power to stop it won’t notice. The inhumanity that goes on, I guess, in the name of ‘progress’ and how easy it is to become desensitised to others’ suffering.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words. 
Immediate, uncluttered, accessible, empathetic, revealing, not graphic, layered, culturally and faith-informed.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Persistent, caring, honest, passionate, faithful. And thankful.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Another curly question – there are so many good characters. Maybe Soraya from Soraya the Storyteller as she sees the importance of stories and is brave. I’d like to be as brave as she is.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
At the moment I’d like to go to 1911 and meet my paternal grandmother. That was the time my grandparents were pioneering and settling in the Mallee. I’ve always wondered what she was like. I’m supposed to be like her but she died before I was born.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Wow, I thought only princesses in castles wrote books. So anyone can do it? I’d better start now.

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
My eldest daughter, Lenore Penner.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I always told stories to my kids and one night after I’d told my daughter, Lenore an adventure story set in Afghanistan she asked me to write it down, so she could read it for herself in boarding school. That’s how it started. Then she wanted it published. I persisted since she wanted it so badly and soon I felt this is what I was called to do: to write.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
‘Love’, for everything it means and how the world would be different with no child trafficking, starvation and wars if everyone believed in the true meaning of it. Just for sound I like the word ‘mouse’.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Besides the Bible? If fiction, it’s like asking me which of my children I like best. I don’t seem to have a favourite book but I have many that I love e.g. The Secret Garden, The Far Pavillions (M.M. Kaye) or Markus Zuzak’s The Book Thief – I hope I’d never become tired of his synaesthesia, humour and exploration of the human condition.

Rosanne's latest book, Shahana, is published by Allen & Unwin and is available now at all good bookstores and online. You can find out more about Rosanne Hawke and her work at her website.

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