I wish I had an exciting hidden talent like whip-cracking tricks or mountain-climbing. I have a range of fair to middling talents instead. I can sketch good eyes. I can bake really nice chocolate chip biscuits. And I’m reasonably talented at toilet-training kittens.
2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
The Snow Queen. I can still remember how shocked by her I was as a child. A beautiful female driving around luring children away. Like all great villains I find her incredibly lonely and there is something quite sad about her. As a child she intrigued me and I always wished for her back story; how did she end up there, like that, hell-bent on making everything wintery?
3. You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Roald Dahl, Hans Christian Andersen, Douglas Adams, Marilynne Robinson and Charlotte Bronte. Then I’d worry all night that everyone was getting on okay and I’d be so so so nervous.
4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Gosh, that’s an interesting question. An invention? I always love anything to do with being able to change times or enter magical worlds. Whether it is the clock striking thirteen in Tom’s Midnight Garden (Phillipa Pearce) or the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S Lewis), or the subtle knife in Pullman’s Dark Materials Trilogy….. I wish that was real.
5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
SLOW. HIGGLEDY-PIGGLEDY. SOMETIMES MAGICAL
6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
DIFFERENT. ENTERTAINING. MOVING. HONEST. BRAVE
7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
A notebook filled with ideas. Cat. Laptop (sleek and shiny not falling apart and with keys eaten off by my parrots), coffee, cake.
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!)
Becoming Aurora by Elizabeth Kasmer.
OPPOSITE the old house there was an empty park with no trees, just a rusty fence and turnstile gate, that sometimes late at night, lamented to itself in the wind.
9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I would ask Marilynne Robinson about Ruthie? The world’s most annoying question. Where is she? Where did she go? Did she die? Does Marilynne miss Ruthie? Sorry that’s more than one question.
10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
That question is too hard. It would depend on the hour of the day and the stage of my manuscript. Today, I’d never read another book.
Karen Foxlee is an Australian author of young adult and middle fiction. Her books include the young adult novels The Anatomy of Wings and The Midnight Dress and the middle fiction E. B. White Read Aloud Award finalist, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy. Karen's latest book is the middle fiction novel A Most Magical Girl (Bonnier, 2016). Visit Karen Foxlee's website and Facebook page for more information about her books and author events.