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Saturday 5 July 2014

12 Curly Questions with author Marianne Curley

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
During 2005, after a fall where I crushed three vertebras in my back, I lost 7¼ inches in height.

2. What is your nickname? 
I never really had one, other than a play on my maiden name “Mizzi.” Everyone had a problem pronouncing it correctly. (Sounds like Mitsy). Some kids at school called me Mizzi Mince Steak. I thought it was lame and hated it in my shy and quiet ways. Since becoming a grandmother I’m called Nana, and I love that.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Spiders and darkness. I once had a spider the size of my palm in bed with me. I think I lost ten years off my life that night. My fear of darkness stems back to when I was six and thought I saw a demon staring at me from atop a light pole as I laid in my bed looking out my window. The next morning I had a scar on my hand, I swore the demon did it. As you can see, I’ve had a vivid imagination all my life!

4. Describe your writing style in ten words. 
Flowing, first-person narrative in duel perspectives with memorable characters.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I would be a book character who was also a real person. Her name was Katherine Swynford, born in 1350, died 1403. Katherine became the mistress of John of Gaunt, then later his third wife. At sixteen her story gave me my love for historical fiction. She was a woman ahead of her time who made her own choices, flouted convention and took control of her own destiny. Without Katherine Swynford, historians believe the course of English history, perhaps even the world, would have been very different. One of her sons with John of Gaunt was the Great Great Grandfather of King Henry VIII of England.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
I’ve been asked this before and I always say an epic period from the past, but now I’m thinking of the future, at least a hundred years. I could see what my grandchildren achieved, and what progress has been made in the areas of science, medicine and technology.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Since I was a shy and serious child who loved to read, she would probably say, “Cool, Mum, I’m really proud of you.”

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
I’m not sure there is anyone I can identify as singularly influential in my life. I have been inspired by greatness and courage, such as Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi and Mother Theresa. As a child, my mother would have been the one who influenced me the most. She wasn’t huge on reading and education, but she had incredible inner strength.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I’ve had a story in my head for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t think someone else might like to share it until I was ready to return to work after having my three children and took up a position as a teacher in an adult college of further education. The hours were dreadful and proved hard on my young family, so I took my love of reading and imagining stories to the next level and started writing them down.  

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Right now it’s “Fearless”, because it not only generates images of bravery and courage, which I admire, it’s also the title of my next book, the conclusion to The Avena Series.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
What a dreadful thought! How can I choose just one? Well, I suppose I would choose The Bible. Within the Old and New Testaments are a gazillion stories with a plethora of ways to interpret them that would surely keep me inspired for the years ahead.

Marianne Curley is an Australian author of young adult fiction. She specialises in fantasy fiction written in a realistic, contemporary setting. Marianne's latest book, Broken, was published by Bloomsbury in March 2014. It is the sequel to Hidden (KBR review) and is the second book in The Avena Series. You can find out more about Marianne and her writing at her website (here and here) and Facebook page. Visit Hidden Novels for more information about The Avena Series.

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: susanATkids-bookreviewDOTcom