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

Tuesday 13 August 2013

12 Curly Questions with author Margaret Wild

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
On cold winter days I sit at my computer wearing scruffy Ugg boots and a pink furry dressing-gown.

2. What is your nickname?

I don’t know if it’s a nickname, but family members have always shortened my name to Margie.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Selfishly, that something terrible will happen to my children or grandchildren. More broadly, that we succeed irrevocably in polluting our planet.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
To be frank, I don’t really know what kind of writer I am. I simply try to put the best words in the best order that I am capable of doing.

6. What book character would you want to be, and why?
When I was ten, it would have been George from The Famous Five because she was adventurous and daring. Or Jo from Little Women because she was rebellious, generous, feisty – and a writer. If I could have a TV character, it would be Dr Who in a female incarnation. 

7. lf you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Far into the future – I want to know if there really are extra-terrestrials.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Don’t be so lazy - stop reading and start writing!

9. Who is your greatest influence?
I don’t know if I would say they are influences, but when I read wonderful books by wonderful writers, it makes me aware of how pitiful my own attempts are and I am inspired to try to do better. I’m thinking of writers like Anne Michaels, Michael Ondaatje, Cormac McCarthy, Raymond Carver, Rose Tremain, Toni Morrison, Tim Winton, Muriel Sparks and Carson McCullers.

10. What/who made you start writing?
In high school I had an inspiring English teacher. He was very critical, but also encouraging. I was madly in love with him and wanted to please him so I took great pains over my writing. He liked my stories and read them out to other classes, which gave me a taste of having a readership.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
At the moment it’s “ramfeezled” which means to exhaust oneself with work. It’s such a visual, evocative word that I think it should come back into use.

12. If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What an awful prospect! I’d have to choose one ENORMOUS volume containing the collected works of William Shakespeare – or is that cheating?

Margaret Wild's most recent picture book, On the Day you Were Born, (illustrated by Ron Brooks) was released in May 2013. Read the Kids' Book Review right here. Her young adult novel, The Vanishing Moment, will be published on 21 August 2013.

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