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

Saturday 4 October 2014

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Christine Sharp

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I love colour to the point of distraction. When I meet you, I am likely noticing the hue of your eyes, rather than remembering your name. Forgive me when I ask for your name a second time.

2. What is your nickname?
When I was in high school, my favourite English teacher called me ‘Little Bird’. Then, perhaps when I’d turned sixteen or so, he started calling me ‘Big Bird’. I’d grown, you see. He was the reason I loved English in high school.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I like to see fear as an opportunity for growth and do my best to question my own misgivings. Saying that, although I’ve met my fair share, I am not overly fond of snakes. Or team sport.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Crafting words to create cadence, reading aloud as I go.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Visual, poetic, positive, imaginative and precise.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I’d be Bea from my first picture book of the same name — she is a bird after my own heart. Bea lives life expressing who she really is and doing what she loves. She observes the wonder of nature, and experiences real joy and true connection. Besides, I’ve always had an affinity with birds.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’d go back to my childhood years in the early seventies so I could again experience precious time with my grandparents, parents and siblings — as well as all that fabulous disco dancing in the lounge room.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Let’s dance. Let’s draw.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
In life, my family. In writing, Tove Jansson, Keri Hulme, Sonya Hartnett, Ernest Hemingway and Jeanette Winterson. I also love Audrey Niffenegger’s illustrated books.

10. What/who made you start writing?
My parents encouraged creativity and imagination. Dad told us wonderful stories before bed and taught us to draw. Mum read to us from beautifully illustrated books, some saved from her childhood, and made spelling and grammar fun. It seemed natural to write and draw.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Imagine. When you imagine something, you’re not only thinking about it, you’re picturing it, visualising it. When you visualise something, you are giving it breath, bringing it to life.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A dictionary — preferably the Macquarie. Then, I’d write books using words newly learned.

Christine's new book, Sylvia, is available now from bookstores and online, UQP, $24.95 RRP.

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