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

Saturday 20 September 2014

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Asphyxia

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I come from an enormous and very quirky family, with seven brothers and sisters, and hordes of cousins.  I grew up in a very communal household with no doors or light switches, which meant little privacy and darkness in my room when my younger siblings went to bed!

2. What is your nickname?
I am often called Fixie, which is what you get when you chop the A’s off either end of my name.  I’ve actually called my blog and art business Fixie’s Shelf – a shelf where I put all the things I make.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Having nothing to do!  Being locked in solitary confinement without so much as a pen and paper.  I think I would die.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Strong female characters, and themes that are important to me.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hard-working, disciplined, focussed, inspired and organised.

6. What book character would you be and why?
PippiLongstocking – the ultimate quirky, strong female character!  I love her.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I would travel back to mediaeval times, because village life back then was much more self-sufficient and sustainable than the way we live now.  I’d like to absorb all their skills – black smithing, weaving, food production – and bring them back to today.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you and why?
My ten-year-old self would probably be speechless, actually.  I was so unconfident as a kid, and I never expected to do the amazing things I’ve been lucky to do in my life so far, such as join the circus and travel the world with a puppet show I created myself, and have a publisher call me out of the blue to offer me a book deal!

9. Who is your greatest influence?
I couldn’t pin my influences down to one or two favourites.  I collect inspiration, and at different times in my life am inspired by and influenced by so many different people.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I started writing because I have all these worlds in my head, bursting to come out.  I wanted to express them, define them, shape them, so that I could reread my stories and re-enter the worlds of my imagination at whim.  I love to escape from my everyday life, and so the worlds I write about are completely different to my reality.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Right now it’s “Sniktittet” which is actually a Norwegian word.  It means, “sneak peeked” and I find it just hilarious and delightful.  I wish I could work it into one of my books!

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Reading is one of my greatest pleasures in life.  I read for the reason I write – to escape my life and go to another world and live another life.  Through books I can live hundreds, thousands of lives that I don’t possibly have time to live in real time!  How could I choose just one life for the rest of my days?  Sorry, but I’m a die-hard reader and if I only had one book, well I might feel that the end was near!

Asphyxia is Australia's leading Deaf circus performer turned puppeteer. She is the author of The Grimstone gothic fairytale series, published by Allen & Unwin. Visit The Grimstones website and Facebook page to find out more about the books and their creator, dates for stage performances of the stories, and more.

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