|Christopher as a young Australian pirate |
including pet Plat-aargh-pus
My favourite band is the Pet Shop Boys. During high school in the 90s, when everyone else was into grunge or hip-hop, this was akin to social self-immolation. I also loved, and still love, ABBA.Whatever. Dance like nobody’s watching, as the Internet dating profiles say!
2. What is your nickname?
My sister calls me Fur, as in Christo-pher. At school I weathered a storm of redhead-related nicknames. Some were affectionate… some less so.
3. What is your greatest fear?
As a child, I was terrified of extraterrestrials. As an adult, I fear we haven’t learned the lessons of the Twentieth Century: that the open society faces enemies from within and without.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Epic, romantic, political, metaphysical, intimate, violent, sad, funny, ultimately hopeful.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Persistent, patient, open to suggestion.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Kim from Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. Action, intrigue, India, and all the romance of adventure in our terrifying, luminous and surprising world.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Into the future, to see North Korean arts and literature flourish after the disintegration of the Kim Dynasty’s life-strangling Cult of Personality. Hopefully not as far ahead as I sometimes fear.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
“You get to write stories for Penguin? Wow! I guess I should stop feeling so anxious about all the time I spend thinking about pirates and sea monsters and aliens and time travel, when I should be finishing my maths homework and doing the Bay Run.”
9. Who is your greatest influence?
My mother and father.
10. What/who made you start writing?
The sheer love of words and story telling.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Barcelona. Sounds great on anybody’s lips, and reminds me of my early twenties, when I was straight out of uni, and the world was opening before me for the first time.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
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