I’m so tidy I can’t leave the house unless the towels are all hanging on the rail at the exactly the same length.
2. What is your nickname?
Mem!! (And don’t ask what my real name is!)
3. What is your greatest fear?
Elephants. I grew up in Africa so I was often in game parks, but with no problem. After I was married I was in a car with my husband and two women friends in a game park in Uganda, and our car was charged by an elephant. I’ve been scared of them ever since.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Child-orientated, re-written many times, rhythmic, repetitive, and with emotional content.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Perfectionist, perfectionist, perfectionist perfectionist, and…perfectionist.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web because she was a good writer and a true friend.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’d like to see what the world becomes in ten years’ time. That’s not far into the future but technology changes between now and then will be both exciting and unimaginable.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
‘Wow! You did it! Way to go, baby!’
9. Who is your greatest influence?
10. What/who made you start writing?
I always loved it, because I was a reader. Nothing made me do it, I just chose to do it.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Asinine. It was a favourite word of my mum’s, which is probably why I love it too. It means ‘really stupid, crazy, idiotic’ and is used mostly in relation to ideas or policies, as in: ‘What an asinine policy it is lock up refugees on islands where no one knows or cares what’s really happening to them.’
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry. It’s an extremely long, exquisitely written novel, set in India and focused on the differences between the rich and the poor. The characters are amazing. Riveting. The story is heartbreaking. I think I’d get something new from it every time I read it. I would never tire of this book!
Mem Fox is one of Australia's most renowned authors and children's literacy advocates. Her first publication, Possum Magic, is the bestselling children's book in Australia and celebrated it's 30th anniversary in 2013. Other well-known titles include Where is the Green Sheep? and Time for Bed. Her latest picture book, This & That, is illustrated by Judy Horacek and published by Scholastic. Visit Mem's website for latest information about her books and author events as well as literacy and education resources.
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