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

Tuesday 19 May 2015

10 Quirky Questions with author Angelica Banks

Angelica Banks – author of Finding Serendipity and its newly-released sequel A Week Without Tuesday – is not one writer but two. Heather Rose and Danielle Wood are both authors of adult fiction and have been friends for years. When they decided to write together for children, they created a pen name to make things easy. Together they answer ten quirky questions:

1. What's your hidden talent?
Danielle: concealing a pet rat in a scarf around my neck.
Heather: cake making. I love creating edible art.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Danielle: Cruella de Vil from Dodie Smith’s 101 Dalmations, in part because she has such a wonderful name, and in part because she’s so gloriously easy to despise.
Heather: Captain Hook from J.M.Barrie’s Peter Pan – because he’s both terrifying and thrilling.

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Danielle: I’d want Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Katherine Paterson, Roald Dahl and Barbara Sleigh.
Heather: For a literary dinner for six I’d invite George Eliot, Edith Wharton, Orson Welles, Ernest Hemingway and Douglas Adams.

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Danielle: The Babel Fish, from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s a small fish that you can stick in your ear, enabling to you understand any language or form of communication.
Heather: A cupboard that could take you to another wonderful world.

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Danielle: careful, joyful, tearful, fanciful, truthful
Heather: thoughtful, energized, immersed, reflective, relieved.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
Danielle: ‘Yes, I’ve felt that too.’
Heather: ‘She gave me soul food.’

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
Danielle: a teacup, wrist-warmers, the Macquarie dictionary, Scout the dog (not an object, but essential), and a quote from EL Doctorow: ‘Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’
Heather: A to-do list and a good black pen, Chaplin the cat (also not an object but always a metre away), a jug of water, and a note from Picasso that says ‘Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.’

8. Grab the nearest book, open it to page 22 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)
Danielle: Unfortunately, no fancy oranges ripened that unhappy November; also, turkeys’ eggs lacked yolks. (Peter Pan, JM Barrie – and, btw, that sentence is an acrostic mnemonic.)
Heather: ‘Father-in-law,’ she said, ‘you have been a ghost in my life, you having died long before I met your son, though he has carried you with him all his years, and through our marriage too, wanting to live up to things you might have expected.’ (Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.)

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
Danielle would ask CS Lewis if he could show her a way into Narnia.
Heather would ask Patrick Rothfuss where she can find Master Elodin to learn the names of things. (The Name of the Wind.)

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Danielle:  What a dreadful choice! But if it came down that, I’d rather stop writing than stop reading.
Heather: I’m with Danielle. You could take away pens and tea and even weather but please never take away the books.

Heather Rose and Danielle Wood are Australian authors who write together as Angelica Banks to author the fabulous Tuesday McGillycuddy Adventure series published by Allen & Unwin. The second book in the series, A Week Without Tuesday, is now available. Visit the Tuesday McGillycuddy website and Angelica Banks Facebook page for more information, You can also find Heather and Danielle on Twitter (@aangelicabanks)