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- author Jackie French

Tuesday 14 March 2017

12 Curly Questions with author/poet June Perkins

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
When I was young I desperately wanted to make the Olympics as a sprint hurdler or 800m runner. I loved running everywhere, especially a nature track close to my childhood home in Tasmania.

2. What is your nickname? 
My best friend at high school used to call me Paisa, my Papua New Guinean middle name from my grandmother, which means the foundations of the bottom of the river. Other than that I have been called Junie, Juniper and Wungle, and lots of things rhyming with June, which used to annoy me heaps. Sometimes having a name easy to rhyme with can be tricky.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I would detest losing my memory of special moments in the life of my community, family and friends, so to tackle the possibility of this I like to keep journals, blogs, photo albums and archives.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Whimsical, jubilant, playful, lyrical, sophisticated, evocative, inventive, inspiring, sincere, inviting (described this way by others).

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Optimistic, creative, caring, respectful, warm.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Mma Ramotswe, in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, by Alexander McCall Smith, because she is curious, caring and looks for the most just resolution to any situation. She also knows a story for almost every situation.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
I would love to travel to the future, maybe 50 to 100 years from now, and see how the world turned out, so I could return inspired by the vision of that future (hopefully it would be a great one, despite the challenges of today).

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
Be happier, there is so much wonderful stuff in store for you and many wonderful people will be there to inspire you, befriend you and listen to your stories and poem.

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
It is really impossible to pick one person who has been the greatest influence in my life. There have been so, so, many who have encouraged me along the way. I think though the most significant have been my family and creatives, such as Jennifer Martinello, Margaret Scott, Tim Thorne, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Alan Lake, the Licuala WINQ Writers, and my Write Links buddies, who gave me opportunities, or said something that made me determined to keep pursuing writing,

10. What/who made you start writing? 
The world itself invited me to write about it. I remember seeing some ducks at the park and writing down an observation, and shortly after doing the same for a helicoptering seed. Many of my teachers encouraged my writing, especially the poetry. Mr Kidd, in particular, encouraged me to attend the Tasmanian Poetry Festival when I was in grade 10. I also remember being in the Puffin book club as a child and that was inspiring. My grandparents encouraged me in writing, by buying me the most beautiful red typewriter, which I wish I still owned. I am not sure what happened to it, but I am working on a story about it.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
I just love ‘giggle’ for the joy it conjures, the words it rhymes with and its playful qualities.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Hidden Words, by Baha’u’llah, because it is a short book, full of deep meanings and quite poetic, which would give me many ideas for stories, poems and abstract photographs, as well as how to approach life. "O Friend, In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love."

June Perkins, a poet since early childhood, had her first poem published when she was just 10, in Brilliant Star magazine (US). Many published poems later, in 2016, she received an ASA mentorship to work on picture books. Magic Fish Dreaming was published through a crowdfunding campaign in 2016. See www.magicfishdreaming.wordpress.com for more details.