I think I am quite good at wrapping up presents. I like wrapping in things that wouldn’t ordinarily be used as wrapping paper, like fabric and beautiful serviettes, and I keep all sorts of funny bits and pieces to use as ribbons and decorations. It is actually one of my favourite things to do.
2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
I have a soft spot for the Trunchbull in Roald Dahl’s Matilda. I think it is because of Quentin Blake’s wonderful first illustration of her in the book. I laughed out loud when I first saw it as a child and it still makes me laugh now. She treated lovely Miss Honey dreadfully and I don’t think it can ever be okay for a teacher to be cruel to children in her care. But I can’t help thinking that someone as hilarious as the Trunchbull couldn’t possibly be all bad.
3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
CS Lewis, Enid Blyton, bell hooks, Alain de Botton and Oscar Wilde. But actually I’d invite them all separately and only for a cup of tea, because I don’t really like dinner parties and I bet a few of them don’t either.
4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
What a lovely question! I think J.K Rowling’s invisibility cloak.
5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Secretive, sometimes frustrating, always exciting.
6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
Her books helped me to want things I already had. (Please could you put the invisibility cloak around five of those words?)
7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
A flower, a candle, a window, a cup of tea and a very big biscuit.
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!)
“Chief among my reasons for doing this interview is that I think KBR is a wonderful site.” (The book is Through the Looking Glass: Further Adventures & Misadventures in the Realm of Children’s Literature, by Selma G. Lanes.)
9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I think I would ask Jenny Wagner if she meant John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat to work so deeply and on so many levels, or it was one of those stories that just came out that way.
10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
What kind of a nightmare scenario is that?? I’ll tell you what, how about I write and read happily for the rest of my life but I never again do any housework?
Anna Branford is an Australian children's author, doll maker and sociology lecturer. Her books include the Lily the Elf series, Lilli-Pilli's Sister picture book, and the Violet Mackerel series, the first four books of which have recently been republished by Walker Books with wonderful new covers by the original Violet Mackerel artist, Sarah Davis. Visit Anna Branford's website for more information about her writing and creative projects.