I get so scared reading horror stories I can’t read them.
2. What is your nickname?
I don’t really have one. When I was a paramedic, a colleague’s daughter called me Flo, because she thought that was my name. Her Dad thought it was funny and still calls me this, but he’s the only one.
3. What is your greatest fear?
Disclosing my greatest fear and then it coming true.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
5. Tell us five positive words that describes you as a writer.
Disciplined, prolific, passionate, addicted, self-doubting.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Nim from Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr. Her life is so fun and exciting and when she grows up, she’ll be the coolest adult on the planet.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’d love to see the world in 100 years time. I’d love to see how far science and technology has progressed, and see the impact our generation had on the world. I’d also love to see who and where people are in my family line, a few generations removed from my own kids.
8. What would your ten year old self say to you?
Why don’t you have a horse?
9. Who is your greatest influence?
My family. Growing up it was my parents, brother and sister. Now it’s my husband and kids.
10. What/who made you start writing?
I started writing when my family’s home and lives were threatened by bushfire (Ash Wednesday, 1983). I was 11. We evacuated and the whole experience was chaotic and terrifying. Once we reached safety, and while we waited to find out if our house had burned down, I wrote about it and the process made me feel better. Here is a short passage from my journal showing this realisation:
Wednesday, January 16, 1985.
The fire was coming fast and we had to evacuate. I was in a total panic because Dad wasn’t home and we didn’t have a car. But then he came, flying down the road, skidding the brakes and yelling to come. We piled into the car - Mum, Dad, Jacki, Steve, me and two dogs - and I was so relieved Dad came back that I started crying. But when we went to Gran’s I stopped because Gran was hysterical and she wouldn’t stop crying. On the way to Patche the dust storm came and we couldn’t see a single thing. I couldn’t even see my own hand in front of me. We went from one side of the road to the other, crashing into the sides. Grandad and Gran, who were following behind us, crashed worse than us, into the corner kerb, and then their car wouldn’t start, so they had to leave it and come with us...
Thursday, January 17, 1985.
Well, the fires are nearly out, but the army people and the helicopters are still buzzing around. Today Mum’s sick and can’t stop trembling. Yesterday, Gran had to be taken to hospital. I feel heaps better after writing it down... I wonder if they know writing things down works like medicine.”
11. What is your favourite word and why?
I don’t have just one favourite. But if I have to choose one, I will say rhythm. I like how it looks and sounds and that it has no vowel.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I rarely read a book more than once because I’m addicted to the thrill of discovery that comes with reading a story for the first time. Therefore, I would choose something I haven’t read, so I could experience this magic one last time. But, I’d want to be confident about my choice so I’d choose a new book from one of my favourite authors.
Maybe I’d choose Rebecca James’ new (still being written) book. I’ve read a few chapters and it hooked me instantly and I really need to know what happens.
Fleur Ferris is an Australian author of young adult fiction. Her first novel, Risk, is published by Random House and is available now. Visit Fleur's website and Facebook page for more information. You can also chat with Fleur on Twitter (@FleurFerris).
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