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

Saturday 30 August 2014

12 Curly Questions with author Elizabeth Fensham

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I didn't like eating peas when I was little. In fact, I went on strike and my mother sat me at the table with one pea on my plate. I wasn't allowed to leave til I'd eaten it. We both had a long wait.

2. What is your nickname?  

3. What is your greatest fear?
Being without family and friends. I think this is because my siblings were much, much older than I was, so I grew up like an only child. I do not fear being alone, because I enjoy regular periods of time alone. There is an upside to this, too, because my times of solitude during childhood are a big part of my becoming a writer.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.  
I'm still a big kid - in life and in writing.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hope-filled; funny (sometimes); moving (sometimes); true-to-life; adventurous.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Anne of Green Gables. She's feisty and fun.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I'd like to live with my great-grandparents and all their six children in the time between 1900 and 1913. (After this it got sad because two great-uncles died in world war 1). These are called Edwardian times by historians. That family was lively, fun-loving, adventurous,  affectionate and very kind. I have always enjoyed make-it-yourself fun - and these were times when people knew how to enjoy themselves without gadgets!

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
My ten year old self would say to me now, "Goodness me! You really did become a writer!"

9. Who is your greatest influence?  
My dear parents were my greatest influence - then my Aunt Bernice (who was a saint), my father's cousin, Grizelda, and an incredibly fun woman called Elva who looked after me for a year when my father ( and mother)took a much needed year's leave and went overseas.

10. What/who made you start writing?
My father was a wonderful, truly gifted story teller and he wrote very well - especially exquisite poetry. When I was about six, I was also given a short novel written by a very young English girl and the light bulb went off in my head that I, too, could write a novel.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
"Love" - the verb-  is my favourite word. There's no need to explain why.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?  
One book for the rest of my life would send me bonkers. I think I'd cheat and make my own book with a huge variety of written texts... I'd have to have funny bits, sad stories, inspiring bits, wisdom and stories from the Bible, a How to make things manual, hugely long novels, recipes, informative texts on science, philosophy, history, geography, medical issues. Please, oh, please let me cheat.

Elizabeth Fensham is an award-winning Australian author of novels for children and teens. Her latest junior novel, My Dog Doesn't Like Me, was published in July 2014 by UQP.

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