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

Saturday, 20 June 2015

12 Curly Questions with author and illustrator Carmen Gray

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
The moment I tell you, it will no longer be something hardly anyone knows about me which means I’d be lying. And since I never lie, I will have to make something up.

Something hardly anyone knows about me is that I have a tail. It’s long and has a tuft of glittery fur on the end of it. I’m quite proud of it really.

2. What is your nickname?
That depends on who you are.

My friends call me ‘Carmen’, but that’s my real name and not a nickname at all so it doesn’t really count.

My children call me ‘Mum’ which isn’t very original either, but as I always say to them, ‘well, you can’t choose your kids’.

My cats look at me and say ‘Meow’, so I guess that must be their name for me. Occasionally they also say ‘Purr’, so maybe that’s my cat nickname.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Being bitten by zombies.
Being bitten by robots.
Being bitten by mutant, meat-eating unicorns.
In fact, anything that wants to ‘hug me with their teeth’ is kind of scary.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Fast. My boys say that I type like a ninja.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Ok, let me think. ‘Literal…’

*realizes word count is up. Moves on to next question*

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I would be Mr Fox. He is funny, clever, cute and awesome at digging. Plus, who doesn’t want whiskers from time to time?

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
I would go forward to the occasion of my own funeral. When everyone was sitting down, staring sadly at my coffin, I would stride in and march up and down the aisle, laughing maniacally.
I’m sure that would really cheer them up.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
10 yr old self:  ‘Wow! You look old!’

‘Old’ self:        Nope. That’s not me. I was never that freckly. Also, I was a lot more intelligent.

10 yr old self:  Guess again, Purr.

‘Old’ self:        Now you’re purring? This cat obsession has gone too far!

 10 yr old self:  I’m not purring! Purr is your nickname.

‘Old’ self:        No it isn’t. I don’t have a nickname. My name is Carmen, but if we’re going to be friends, you can call me Your Wonderfulness.

10 yr old self:  Purr! Purr! Purr!

‘Old’ self:        You are not a cat.

10 yr old self:  PURR! PURR! HISSSSSSS!

‘Old’ self:        *Runs away*

9. Who is your greatest influence?
I love the work of: Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, R.L. Stine, L. Pichon, Jeff Kinney and lots of others. But my greatest influence would have to be my two boys who are funny, clever and cute. Just like Mr Fox.

10. What/who made you start writing?
When I was (much, much) younger, I found it difficult to sleep at night so I would sit up writing stories on an old computer that someone gave me. In those days, the internet wasn’t really a thing so there were no distractions. If I had been born a few years later, I would probably have spent all that time playing computer games. Imagine how awesome my Minecraft world would be…

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I like two words - ‘zombie’ and ‘bumblebee’. I like them so much, I’ve put them together and invented a zombie bumblebee called Zombee. You saw it here first.


12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If it was for the rest of my life, it would have to be a really big book. But if it was long enough to last me the rest of my life, it would be too heavy, especially if I wanted to read it in bed. In fact, it would probably fall on my face and smother me. There I would be, trapped under the weight of this enormous book, my screams muffled by thousands of pages… Well thank you very much for reminding me of my own death.


Carmen Gray is an Australian author/illustrator living in Queensland. Her junior fiction novel Zombified!, published in May be HarperCollins, is the first in a series. The second book, Zombified: Infected, will be available in late 2015. Visit Carmen's website and Facebook page for the latest updates on her books and events.

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

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