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- author Jackie French

Saturday 22 August 2015

12 Curly Questions with author Kathryn Barker

Photo credit: Milk and Honey Photography
1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I once got paid to model shoes, just from the ankle down. I have nice-ish feet, apparently.

2. What is your nickname?
When I was little my Dad called me ‘Pineapple Princess’ – go figure. Mum sometimes calls me Katarina and my Uncle Brian calls me ‘KT’. Over the years I’ve also gone by Kat and Kate. Oh, and when I was growing up in Tokyo I was referred to as Kat-Chan, which is kind of a Japanese version of my name. There, that about covers it!

3. What is your greatest fear?
Losing the people I love. My second greatest fear involves caterpillars.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Complex and gritty… but balanced with humor and love.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Imaginative. Interested. Honest. Direct. Raw.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Lyra Belacqua from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy because (a) she’s awesome, (b) I want my very own daemon and (c) it would mean that I got to live in Philip Pullman’s world.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
My next book actually involves time-travel, so I’d go to London a few hundred years in the future. That way I could see how the real world compares to what I’ve imagined.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
What happened to Disneyland?

9. Who is your greatest influence?
The people I love.

10. What/who made you start writing?
Melina Marchetta. I read Looking for Alibrandi in high school and it had a huge impact on me… but it was a long time before I mustered the courage to try and write a book myself!

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Discombobulate, because I think it sounds a bit ridiculous and it’s fun to say. Also, I like that’s just a fancy word for ‘confused’ – I don’t know why, but that amuses me.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The complete works of Phillip K Dick. He wrote amazing stories, many of which have now been made into well-known science-fiction movies (Bladerunner, Total Recall, The Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau etc)… but the original written texts are way better. I think he had enough ideas to last me a couple of lifetimes, so I’d never be bored.

Kathryn Barker is an Australian author with a background in law and television. In the Skin of a Monster, published by Allen & Unwin, is her first YA novel. Visit Kathryn's website and Facebook page for latest updates on her writing and author events.

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