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

Saturday 6 February 2016

10 Quirky Questions with author Kaz Delaney

1. What's your hidden talent?
Singing in the shower. I am amazing. Seriously. Big Bands, rock groups and musical productions alike would cry in despair of never being able to include this voice should they ever hear it. But alas, my heart belongs to the literary world, so yes, those fortunate few music people who’ve had the privilege of catching that angelic voice, sometimes hauntingly heard wafting though the sultry night air, will weep and gnash their teeth but my heart will stay true.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
I love a good villain but I’m not sure I have a favourite. Glancing down my bookshelves, perhaps the collective Witches in Roald Dahl’s The Witches? They are just so bad! Dahl pulls no punches when creating bad people, and you can’t help but love them and abhor them at the same time.

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
After the last answer, I would have to invite good old Roald, right? Now assuming these aren’t people with whom I usually imbibe, then I must cast my search further afield.

2) Hmmn, I’m back at my bookcase. So, 2) Ally Carter, because she’s a bit of a YA goddess.

3) Agatha Christie  - do I need a reason? I think I’d lock her in a room and just talk to her forever.

4) Lee Childs because I think he’s brilliant and I’d like to know what he thought of that whole Tom Cruise thing. Really? Tom Cruise?

5) Wow, I could fit a hundred people onto that one last chair… Maybe because of some things I’m writing I might like to include Janet Evanovitch. Or then again, Elizabeth George whose subtle humour and exquisite turn of phrase is breathtaking. Or maybe  M.R.C Kassian who reminds me of Elizabeth George and whose books I have fallen in love with… or. No, I must stop. Wow, that was/is hard! But I’d never give this party. Mine would be huge because I am surrounded daily (in a cyber sense) by brilliant writer friends both on my doorstep and all over Australia and they’d get the first invitations. Watch the mail, Susan Whelan.

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
The Wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?  I’m not much of a sci fi reader and I suspect many literary inventions might come from this genre? Of course when I’ve finished this and have time to really think (like at three tomorrow morning), I’ll come up with a slew of amazing literary inventions that would have been perfect answers.  

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Determined. Hap-hazzard.Structured. Organized. Chaos.  These are all filed under Contradiction, which possibly sums up my style, but more through situation than organically occurring. I grab every free moment  - one has to, to stay in the race these days.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
Worthy (of the reader’s time); Satisfying; Entertaining; Thought-provoking; Memorable.

Readers have high standards, as so they should. If my readers applied any of these words to my work, I would be honoured. It is our duty to strive to these high ideals – our readers deserve that and more. We owe our readers, big time.

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
1 A huge window overlooking the ocean/water.
2 Comfy chair.
3 Roaring fire (Okay it’s winter).
4 Quiet (can we intangible objects?) except for the crackle of the fire.
5 A deferential wait-person to bring me sustenance as required.

8. Grab the nearest book, open it to page 22 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)
The word is’ hear’.

‘Hear that?’
Giselle half turned, immediately drawn back by the low laughter. Laughter that held no warmth, just the bleak, chilled taunt of her nightmares. The sound of despair.

Okay I cheated because the very first book I reached was my own, The Reluctant Jillaroo (TRJ), and I must point out that the tone of the sentence and the story bear no relation!

Let’s try again: Tallowood Bound by Karly Lane (her latest & also on my desk) and the word is: Front.
Front and centre. I don’t think any one of us moved, all of us glued to the thing in front of us – the very thing I had prayed not to see.  (Much closer in tone to TRJ)

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
Agatha Christie famously once said, “There are questions that you don't ask because you're afraid of the answers to them.” As someone who spent so much of her time in the minds of psychopaths & the dysfunctional, what question in particular did she fear? Was it as simple and potentially heart-stopping as - ’Do you love me?’  I have often wondered.                                    

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Impossible question. Though I suspect there may come a time with age or illness whereby I might never be able to again write. With that in mind I have to say the former. If I was unable to write, then it would be the ultimate cruelty if I could also no longer read the wonderful stories of others. Hopefully when I’ve lost most of my abilities I’ll still be able to utilize audio books.

Kaz Delaney is an Australian author of books for children and teens. Her YA novels include the popular Almost Dead and Dead, Actually. Her latest novel, The Reluctant Jillaroo, is a fun rural romance for teens published by Allen & Unwin. Visit Kaz Delaney's website and Facebook page for more information about her books and author events.