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

Tuesday 11 April 2017

12 Curly Questions with Davina Bell

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, highest mountain in Africa. For real! I stood on the summit in the snow and everything. I’m not a sporty person, so most people would be a little shocked by that.

2. What is your nickname? 
In Western Australia, it’s Beans. In Melbourne, it’s DB.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Undercooked chicken.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Non-existent until there’s a deadline looming. Whole lot of feelings!

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Always willing to try again.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
This is sort of a weird answer, given that (spoiler alert) he dies. But I think I’d want to be Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He is so filled with love, and gentle and brave – all things I value. He’s basically Dumbledore with fur. The best.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
I’d go back to 1969 and get some real hard evidence that the moon landing actually happened – or not, as the case may be.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
You seem pretty busy, but you should maybe think about brushing your hair more often. Looking a bit scruffy.

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
My god-daughter, Imogen, who has very severe autism and can’t speak or communicate in any way. I always feel as if I’m living part of my life for her, and it makes me want to do better.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
My desire to write came from my love of books, so I guess that started with my great-grandmother, Gran Armstrong, who I never met but passed on the gift of reading. She always took my dad to bookshops when he was a kid, and every holidays he would take us to our local bookshop to continue the tradition. Those trips always felt magical to me, and made books and words and writing magical, too.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Discombobulated. The first time I heard it, I thought it was made up. It’s so jumbled, just like the feeling it’s describing, as if someone joined together fridge magnet letters in a weird order and thought, 'that’ll do'.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Great Gatsby and The Secret Garden, tied.

Davina Bell is an award-winning writer from Western Australia, and for six years she was a senior editor at Penguin Australia. She’s the author of picture books including The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade, Oh, Albert!, Hattie Helps Out and Under the Love Umbrella, as well as the Alice stories in the best-selling series Our Australian Girl. For more information, see www.davinabell.com.