I think my hidden talent is my ability to communicate with and appreciate the natural world.
I enjoy watching birds or any other creatures going about their day. I’m woken early every morning by the singing of magpies, who love roosting in a nearby tree. Sometimes the young ones warble too early. I think they are still getting their morning song timing right.
2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
My favourite literary villain is Aaron Blabey’s Pig the Pug. Pig is a gross character, selfish and conniving, but so very human. Also, I once owned a pug who was so much like Pig they could be brothers.
3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
I’d invite my daughter Ambelin, Bruce Pascoe, Bronwyn Bancroft, Andy Griffiths and Alison Lester.
They are all wonderful storytellers with a sense of humour, so it would be a fun evening.
4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
My first thought was – What’s a literary invention? – so I looked it up.
If I could make anything about literature real it would be to shed more light and understanding through the books that challenge us to deepen our humanity, to redefine our definition of sentient, to raise our consciousness and to love, love, love the world we live in.
5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
My writing process is random, frustrating, sometimes obsessive, dreamy and open ended.
Open ended means I start a lot of writing projects and never finish them. I’m good at beginnings, but not so good with everything else.
6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
The five words I’d like to be remembered by as a writer are accessible, heartfelt, natural, funny and sad.
7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
My favourite writing space would always include our two elderly dogs aged 16 and 17 years of age, a comfortable chair, a mug of peppermint tea, some art to gaze at, a big window looking onto the garden and my battered laptop.
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 Witches, Roald Dahl, page 22 , second word – AS
AS I’m writing this my two small dogs are giving me pleading woofs of demand for breakfast. Previous to this, there were bashes of demand at the back door. A quick pee, then loud howls of protest at the neighbour’s cat, who hissed regally from her perch on the side fence. After breakfast there will be whines of demand for a walk, during which they will attempt to savage any giant dog trying to befriend them. On returning home there will be a sleep full of snores, dreaming yips and foul farts, but they will awaken in time to give my feet a few playful nips of demand for a hearty lunch.
Oops – not one sentence – got carried away!
9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
For author I have to substitute storyteller. In which case the storyteller would be my great grandmother and I’d ask her what her world was like when she was young.
10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
I’d prefer to never read another book ( there’s always television) than never write another story.