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

Saturday 15 November 2014

12 Curly Questions with author Sue Bursztynski

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I have the wrong birthdate on my birth certificate. I discovered this when I was researching in old newspapers and found that while I was born on a Friday - and I know I was, because of what my mother says about that day - my official DOB the year I was born was a Thursday.

2. What is your nickname?
I don't have one. When I was at school, it was Professor, not because I was a nerd (though I was), but after a certain wrestler, because I was feisty. The people who called me that, by the way, were the first to ask me if I was still writing when I met them again years later.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Heights! Well, not heights as such, I love a great view. Heights with no protective railing.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Quirky, silly, over-the-top, funny, occasionally serious, but only occasionally. Okay, that's eleven. But I say "occasionally" twice.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Funny, exciting, unexpected, versatile, quirky.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Rosie Cotton, Sam Gamgee's girlfriend and later wife, in Lord Of The Rings. She gets the best cook and gardener in the Shire for a husband and gets to live in Bag End. Okay, she has to share him with "Mr Frodo" for a while, but not for long.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Some time in the 1590s, to see the first performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, as long as I got to sit in the gallery. I don't think I'd want to stand in the noisy crowd for three hours. It's one of my favourite Shakespeare plays.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now? 
Hey, they're paying you to write? Cool!

9. Who is your greatest influence?
As a writer? Originally, Howard Fast's historical novels, but later I changed my style to over-the-top humour, which was more me.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I had a lot of old, not-quite-used exercise books of my sister's and they just begged to be written on. And I had all these stories in my head I'd been telling myself in bed, so it made sense to write them down. There was also a teacher who used to put me in front of the class to tell stories while he did other things.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Onomatopoeia, which means words that sound like what they mean, eg "susurrus". I just love the idea of a word that actually sounds like what it means.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Bite your tongue! If I was stuck in one place, I'd want a powerpoint, a charger and an ebook reader crammed with my favourites. Stuck on a desert island, I guess I'd be okay with a Works of Shakespeare, including any potential lost plays and The Two Noble Kinsmen, which he wrote with another playwright. That way, I'd have a lot of stories to read and reread in between swimming and finding food.

Sue Bursztynski is a Melbourne writer and author of short fiction and books for children and teens, including her two CBCA Notable Books, Potions To Pulsars: Women Doing Science (Allen & Unwin) and Wolfborn (Woolshed Press), a YA novel. She has also had articles published in the NSW School Magazine. Her children's history of crime, Crime Time: Australians Behaving Badly (Ford St Publishing), was shortlisted in the Davitt Awards. Two of her books, Wolfborn and Your Cat Could Be A Spy, are on the Premier's Reading Challenge list. Visit Sue’s website for more information about her books and other writing endeavours.

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