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

Saturday 19 April 2014

12 Curly Questions with author Dianne Wolfer

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
My elbows are double-jointed.

2. What is your nickname? 
My sisters and Mum call me Didee

My husband calls me Meg after a phascogale in an audio story I wrote. The reason is a long story (he thought I was like the character). You can find out more about the project here.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I try hard to focus on being brave rather than afraid, but I’m not a fan of big hairy spiders and never will be. There are other big picture answers like global warming, fears that we’re losing habitat for precious creatures like black cockatoos and my fear that our leaders will continue to become less compassionate, but hairy spiders is the short answer.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words. 
It’s hard to step back from my work far enough to answer this, so I went through some readers’ letters. The most frequent response to my writing is; ‘it made me cry’, ‘your story brought tears to my eyes’, ‘I was teary/needed tissues…’

So perhaps the first word has to be tear-inducing.

Another nine regular feedback words are; non-judgmental, sensitive, environmental, poignant, evocative, thought-provoking, moving, delightful, funny…
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hard-working, eclectic, genre-hopping, sensitive, thorough

6. What book character would you be, and why?
This varies from day to day. I aspire to be Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) or Jo March (Little Women) but probably am usually more like The Muddle-headed Wombat.

I also have soft spots for Reepicheep (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and Iorek Byrnison (the armored bear in Northern Lights). And Anne of Green Gables, so many favourites!

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I feel very fortunate to be living in this age, but if I could easily return, it would be fun to be a fly on Jane Austen’s shoulder and see the events that might have inspired her stories.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
My ten-year-old self lived in Thailand and could not imagine me now. So much has changed, but I still love animal stories. I’m still imaginative and stubborn/determined (depending on your perspective). I guess 10 year old Dianne might say, ‘Never lose your imagination.’

Or ‘What’s a good book for me to read?’

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
My family.

10. What/who made you start writing?
My mother and grandmother read books and also some poetry to me (Clancy of the Overflow etc). My family also gave books for birthdays and Christmas, as I do now. And I clearly remember my excitement every fortnight when the mobile library bus came to the outer suburbs of Melbourne where we lived. Walking through the front door of the bus, receiving my six library cards and being able to choose new stories was the best thing. I’m sure this love of books and words inspired (and still inspires) my writing.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Hope: I’m a bit of a Pollyanna!

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
A good dictionary.

Dianne Wolfer is an Australian author living on the South Coast of Western Australia. She writes across a range of genres from picture books (see our review of Annie's Snails here) to historical fiction. Her latest book for younger readers, Light Horse Boy, is published by Fremantle Press and is shortlisted for the 2014 CBCA Book of the Year Award in the Younger Readers category. You can find out more about Dianne and her wonderful books at her website and blog.

If you are an author or illustrator who thinks they are BRAVE enough to answer our questions, 
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