|Photo credit: Michelle Tremolada|
I spoke Portuguese until I was three.
2. What is your nickname?
Depends who you ask. Hel. Thurlie. Little Miss Muffet.
3. What is your greatest fear?
Funnel web spider in my shoe.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Playful. Funny. Surprising. Random. Informative. Snappy. Layered. Structured. Visual. Tasty.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Curious. Inventive. Experimental. Thoughtful. Tenacious.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Hermione Granger. Because she solves every problem, even the hard ones.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
1972, but to be there as a young adult this time around. It was such an exciting period of social change in Australia, when there was great optimism about what kind of inclusive and compassionate country we could shape for ourselves.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
How come it took you so long to write your first book?
9. Who is your greatest influence?
My life is made up of so many people, and they’ve influenced me at different stages of my life, and in different ways. In career and study choices, in writing style and habits, in lifestyle, in relationships. Of course I’ve also been influenced by the ideas of writers and thinkers I have never met. Greatest? They’re all great.
10. What/who made you start writing?
A pencil in my hand. An empty page. And all the stories in my head.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Ambidextrous. Because it sounds so official and important, and a little bit impossible. In reality it would be very (pun alert) handy.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. Because what I think it means changes every time I look at it, so there is plenty of scope for re-reading. And I love the pictures.