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

Tuesday 27 January 2015

12 Curly Questions with author Vicki Englund

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I studied piano at the Queensland Conservatorium and taught piano for 13 years before deciding that writing was what I wanted and needed to do. I still love playing piano.

2. What is your nickname?
My oldest friend, who I’ve known since we were about four, calls me Vic. She’s the only one.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I’m chronically claustrophobic, which means I can’t watch war movies when they dig tunnels and stuff like that.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
I write because I can’t not write. It’s necessary therapy.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Heartfelt, determined, happy, dedicated, caring.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Okay, here’s my credibility out the door. In a weird sort of way I’d love to be Bella Swan from Twilight. I know, it’s cheesy and has a lot of other faults but the intensity of the emotions taps into the 18 year-old girl inside me and it would be wonderful to have a handsome young vampire devoted to me for eternity! Unlike some people who have criticised the character for not being a good female role model, I think Bella is very strong, determined and courageous.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I think somewhere in the mid-1960s would be fun. Great fashion and the excitement of bands such as The Beatles! Best thing of all – no mobile phones.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
It would be easier to answer the other way around – what would I say to my ten-year-old self? But I guess it would have to be, “You’ve done okay, and who would’ve thought you’d have such an interesting, unexpected life.”

9. Who is your greatest influence?
I’d like to think it’s my mother who passed away six years ago. I hope her down-to-earth attitude to life and her lack of interest in petty things have rubbed off on me. She was the sanest person I knew.

10. What/who made you start writing?
English was always my favourite and best subject at school, then in my late 20s I suddenly felt the need to write stories again. I wrote a Young Adult novel which got interest from UQP and Lothian, but they didn’t end up taking it. Being a film and TV reviewer got me interested in writing scripts so I’ve focused on writing for film and TV, but it was great fun writing When Lollipop Ladies Attack!. As my daughter has grown and gone through the books for her age group, I’ve written stories for that age group. She’s now 12 so I’ve got a series of books in mind featuring a 12 year-old girl.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Serendipity. I love the way it sounds and I love its meaning – the Macquarie Dictionary defines it: the faculty of making desirable but unsought-for discoveries. I usually just think of it as a happy accident.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
To Kill a Mockingbird. I saw the movie first and it made me want to write movies, then I read the book and I thought, if I can affect people reading my work the way this story has affected me, I can die happy. It’s such a wonderfully told story and always makes me cry with its beauty.

Vicki Englund has written scripts for Home and Away, and children’s TV series including Magical Tales and Puzzle Play. She’s also an award-winning film scriptwriter (for as-yet unproduced works), with two family feature films in development through Screen Queensland. When Lollipop Ladies Attack! (KBR review) is her first published book but her journalism work has been widely published in newspapers and magazines. Visit Vicki's website and Facebook page to find out more about her writing projects.

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