Hmmmm. I’m fairly good at hacky-sack. And I play a mean game of ‘Guess Who’.
2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
I love Roald Dahl’s villains. Boggis, Bunce and Bean and Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge are particular favourites. Dahl’s villains inspire me when I’m developingg characters like Deputy Principal Skroop, Giggles the clown, Dr Bent or Tom’s evil sister Tanya in the My Life books.
3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Can I have seven? Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea), Roald Dahl (The BFG), Judy Blume (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing), Jack London (White Fang, Call of the Wild), Gary Paulsen (Hatchet), Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn), Jean Craighead George (My Side of the Mountain)
4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
In my Mac Slater books that have just been re-released there’s a flying bike that I’d love to take for a spin. (Although it crashes quite often, so I might have a professional look it over before I take to the skies.)
5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Early, freewritten, outdoors, puzzle-solving, crazy-making.
6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
‘Never talked down to readers.’
7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
Notebook, Dixon Ticonderoga pencil, a pile of my favourite books, steaming mug of green tea, Macbook Pro.
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!)
‘Place your hands on your head, your big toes in your ears and turn to your teachers.’
- The word ‘place’ was found in the sentence, ‘This place looks haunted,’ in my new book My Life & Other Exploding Chickens.
9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I would ask Roald Dahl: ‘What is it about your stories that allow them to traverse time and geography to connect with kids everywhere? (And everywhen.)
I’d ask Gus Gordon how he managed to persuade his lovely wife to let him go and eat cheese in Paris for several weeks while he wrote a book and she looked after their fine children. I think I can feel a book about Paris brewing. And cheese.
10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book’?
The two are inextricably linked for me. I’d say never write another story because I love reading, but it would be torture for me to read and not write. Would you let me just jot ideas in the margins, so not technically a story?
Tristan Bancks is an award-winning Australian author for children and teens with a background in film-making and acting. His books include the My Life series, Cool Hunter series (recently re-released by Random House) and Two Wolves. Tristan's latest book is My Life and Other Exploding Chickens, illustrations by Gus Gordon and published by Random House. Watch a trailer for the book here. Visit Tristan's website and Facebook page for more information about his books and author events.