'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 10 January 2017

12 Curly Questions with KBR team member and author Devon Sillett

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. I have this weird quirk where I can pronounce/spell words and sentences backwards almost instantaneously.

2. What is your nickname? Dev.

3. What is your greatest fear? Something terrible happening to my children. A close second would be the world running out of chocolate.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. Succinct! Just kidding. Quirky, culturally and socially driven, explorative, often metafictional. Evocative.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. Experimental, open, hopeful, infatuated, heartened.

6. What book character would you be, and why? What an unfair question, how can I possibly choose? If I had to pick just one, it would be Thomas from Libby Gleeson’s I Am Thomas. That book is one of the most underappreciated, underexposed and brilliant picture books of our time. Thomas embodies the sort of strength, curiosity, resilience and self-belief that I hope to instil in my boys.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? There are two different years, and I cannot possibly choose between them.

The first would be 2001. Here’s what I would say: 'Put words first and boys second (or maybe third or fourth). And no, you’ll never improve at mathematics, but you should at least try!'

Alternatively, I’d go back to 2004 and tell my grandparents how much I love them, and what an indelible mark they both made on the way I see the world. That as an adult, they mean something entirely different to what they meant to me as a kid, and that I wish I could share things with them that I discovered about the world.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? You used to be so cool, what happened?!

9. Who is your greatest influence? Those pioneering women who came before me; the ones who paved the way for women to have a vote, to be able to read, to have access to education, to be able to work even if I’m married (yes, that really was a law at one point – teachers weren’t allowed to work if they were married!). Intersectional feminists who continue to pave the way for new perspectives, ideas and discussions.

10. What/who made you start writing? My love of reading. Strongly encouraged and supported by my parents, I started reading when I was two and I haven’t stopped since. For as long as I can remember, I have lived in a sea of words and an ocean of ideas. It was a natural progression.

11. What is your favourite word and why? Love. My husband is telling me that I’m making a clichéd choice, but what can I say, it’s everything!

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. With each new stage of life, my interpretation of the book changes, but regardless of where I am or what I am doing at the time, it reaches me to my writer’s core.


Devon’s first picture book, The Leaky Story (EK Books), is out in April, 2017, and her second will be out in 2018. When not indulging in her picture book obsession, Devon can be found in the ACT, covered in chalk and blueberry fingerprints from her two favourite people, sons Aaron and Jay.