When I was five I decided to run away because that was how all good adventures started. I packed my suitcase with soft toys and made it down to my front door before I realised I didn’t know how to unlock it. Mum found me sitting on my suitcase staring longingly up at the door.
2. What is your nickname?
Ah, to have a nickname! I’ve been wanting one since I was in school, but somehow nothing caught on. Right now I’m just hoping if I nickname myself Kaylee, it’ll eventually stick. Browncoats will hopefully approve!
3. What is your greatest fear?
Falling from a high space in the dark while spiders crawl over me.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Loquacious, playful, sarcastic, simple, sartorial, whimsical, exciting, unabashed, sometimes – at least in my first drafts – indecipherable.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Eager, curious, encouraging, open, engaged.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Thursday Next so I could travel into any book I liked and visit the Great Library.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I would love to visit Egypt in the great age of the explorers, so I think I’d go back in time to the Edwardian era and be a lady adventurer riding through the shifting sands on the world’s most bad tempered camel.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
“Why aren’t you a famous singer living with your equally-famous actress cousin in London?!”
9. Who is your greatest influence?
Neil Gaiman is probably my biggest writing influence. I’ve never met another writer whose work is consistently as fresh, original, and compulsively readable. And everyone wishes they’d written American Gods.
10. What/who made you start writing?
I was 12 and I had just picked up Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. Before that I’d mostly read classic adventure stories, so it blew my mind that a girl could fight and have adventures and be the hero of her own story. From that point on, I knew I wanted to create my own heroines.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
It’s a three-way tie between lackadaisical, gallivant, and kerfuffle. Just saying them makes me happy. If I had my way, we’d bring back more old-fashioned words. Who wouldn’t want to call someone a pusillanimous scalawag?
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, because it stimulates my imagination the way no other book does.
K A Barker is an Australian author based in Brisbane, Queensland. Her first young adult novel, The Book of Days, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2014. For more information visit her website and Tumblr account and for the latest updates on author events, follow her Facebook page or chat with her on Twitter (@k_a_barker).
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