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

Tuesday 10 March 2015

12 Curly Questions with author Samantha Turnbull

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I used to work at a commercial radio station where I had to do voice overs for a lot of advertisements. I had to play a whiney housewife in one particular commercial that was recorded about 12 years ago, and it still gets played on the radio ALL THE TIME. If people knew it was me, they’d say: ‘I hate that ad! You sound so whiney! I can’t believe it’s you!’

2. What is your nickname?
A couple of my friends call me Spam – hopefully just because it sounds like Sam, not because I remind them of meat in a can.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Boa constrictors. I know that I should probably be more scared of venomous snakes, but there’s something about those big fat python-like ones and the way they curl around their prey that totally freaks me out.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Modern, realistic, fun, snappy, simple, direct, personal, relaxed, honest, fast.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Motivated, compassionate, relatable, youthful, energetic.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I’d be Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird because I’m always questioning things, I worry a lot, and I can’t tolerate injustice.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Probably around 1470 BC. I’m a bit of an ancient history buff and I think it would have been amazing to be in Egypt around that time when Hatshepsut was coming into power – she was queen of Egypt at just 12 years old, and then went onto become pharaoh. And imagine seeing things like the Pyramids being built – wowee.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
‘Hey, it’s pretty cool that you’ve written some books for kids just like me,’ and ‘how come you get to eat five times as much ice cream as I do?’

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My kids – my daughter Libby and my son Jonah – I want them to be proud of their mumma!

10. What/who made you start writing?
I wrote The Anti-Princess Club after going into a department store to buy some books for my newborn daughter, and becoming frustrated because I couldn’t find anything ‘for girls’ that didn’t have a princess or a fairy in it.

But, if you go waaaaaaay back, I started writing stories as a kid because it was a way to not just escape the real world, but to create my own ideal world where I could live for a while in my imagination.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Liberty. I think it sounds pretty, it has a great meaning (freedom), and that’s why I chose it as the name for my daughter.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Never Ending Story… no, wait, that actually does end doesn’t it? I guess it would have to be The Diary of Anne Frank because it’s so hopeful in a time of such despair… which would be comparable to living in a world with only one book to read for the rest of my life!

Samantha Turnbull is an Australian children's author who specialises in stories that feature strong girls. Her first junior fiction series, The Anti-Princess Club, includes four titles: Emily's Tiara Trouble, Bella's Backyard Bullies, Grace's Dance Disaster and Chloe's River Rescue. Visit Samantha's website and Facebook page to find out more about her writing and visit the Anti-Princess Club website for more information about the series.

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