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

Tuesday 7 October 2014

12 Curly Questions with author Kylie Westaway

Photo credit: BGM Photography
1. Can you tell us something hardly anyone knows about you?
When I was eight, my cousins and I pretended we owned horses, and we used to “gallop” everywhere on them. Including down to the shops, around the city, and other embarrassingly public places. My horse was a white mare called Pegasus.

2. Do you have a nickname and if so, what is it?  
I don’t have a nickname. My dad is very anti-nicknames for some bizarre reason, so he made sure my brothers and I all have names that can’t be shortened.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Something terrible happening to someone I love. Whenever I have a nightmare it is always some strange scenario involving my family – once I dreamed we were all lost in Jurassic Park being hunted by dinosaurs. Another time we were struggling for life aboard a cruise ship that was sinking. I should probably stop watching movies…

4. Can you describe your writing style for us in ten words?
I love unpredictable endings, unforgettable characters, scary situations, kindness, bravery.

5. Can you give us five positive words that describe you as a writer?
Ceaseless (I am always writing, even when I’m walking, at a dinner, in the shower), loyal (I love my characters), imaginative (too imaginative, sometimes!), strong (it takes strength to write and even more to cut and rewrite!) and wacky (I’m always looking for the absurd).

6. What book character would you be, and why?
D’Artagnan. When I first read The Three Musketeers I fell in love with the idea of being a musketeer, having daring sword fights and crusading around righting wrongs!

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’ve always been fascinated by ancient history and I’ve visited the sites of six of the seven ancient wonders of the world. The last one to be completed (and the first one to be destroyed) was the Colossus of Rhodes. I would love to go back to 280BC when it had just been completed, and travel round to see all seven in their full glory.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
I can’t believe there are books on your bookshelf that you haven’t read yet.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
Roald Dahl. His books are, to me, the epitome of writing for children. Funny, scary, original, bizarre and full of truly incredible characters.

10. What or who made you start writing?
I have no idea. I announced I was going to be an author at the age of 3, and that’s pretty much all I’ve ever wanted to be since. I don’t know what set it off. Although some of my favourite books in early childhood were The Most Scary Ghost, The Monster at the End of This Book andThe Faraway Tree. I always loved stories so I guess I wanted to tell them myself.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Chalk. There’s just something about that word that makes it fun to say. Chalk.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life what would it be?  
To Kill A Mockingbird. I have about 50 books that are equally my absolute second-favourite books in the world, but To Kill A Mockingbird is hands down my favourite. I read it all the time and I have 5 different copies of it, including a beautiful Folio edition and a signed first edition.

Kylie Westaway has a background in theatre and has worked for the Australian production of The Lion King and for the Bell Shakespeare Company. She is a performed playwright and has written for magazines. Whale in the Bath, published by Allen & Unwin, is her first book. For more information, visit Kylie's website or Facebook page.

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