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

Tuesday 6 June 2017

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Shannon Horsfall

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
If I have taken the trouble to ensure hardly anyone knows of this something, why would I disclose it here? OK, for the sake of entertainment, I have an inexplicable aversion to seeing people chew ice or bite into ice-blocks.

2. What is your nickname? 
I’ve never really had a nickname. You would have thought with a surname like Horsfall, someone would have thought up something like ‘the clumsy equestrian’.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I can’t say I am particularly excited about death.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Characters with sass and spunk. With a side of silly.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Honest, humorous, anarchic, endearing, inquisitive.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Scout, from To Kill a Mockingbird. She had such youthful innocence and natural empathy, mixed with a healthy dose of curiosity.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
Victorian London. Such a heady mix of dark and dangerous; poverty and street crime in the name of survival, and giddy frivolity – gauche displays of wealth and class. Dickens meets Austen.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
Picture books are all good and well, but could you write a cracking chapter book? And make it about me?

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
In a day-to-day sense, my sons – my youngest, I maintain, to his delight, is my muse. He is hilarious. In a fangirl sense – the great Oliver Jeffers.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
In the literal, I just thought of a title one day in the car park at school when I was waiting for the boys to be dismissed, and that became my first manuscript. I have a muddle of ideas constantly bouncing in my head. In the inspirational, my English teachers and my mother instilled in me a deep love of the written word. If I am true to my young self, I guess I always wanted to write, but never put that into conscious thought.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I’m taking the liberty of listing two: irk and apt. Two succinct words that click happily off the tongue.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I had to think about this for such a long time. It is way too difficult a question, but for the sake of finishing what I have started here, Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson. It is a novel of intricate layers, written exquisitely.

Shannon Horsfall is an author/illustrator with a background in graphic design. Her first picture book Was Not Me! was published in 2016, by Harper Collins. Shannon lives on a beautiful island north of Brisbane, with her two sons and a rescue hound who thinks she’s a supermodel. She describes herself as a grown-up whose inner child is not always kept safely inner (she has been known to gatecrash the odd game of Red Rover and elastics). See www.shannonhorsfall.com for more information.