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- author Jackie French

Tuesday 19 September 2017

12 Curly Questions with author Amanda Holohan

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
When I was a little kid I walked with my toes facing inward. 'Pigeon-toed', they called it. The doctors insisted I sleep with these ugly metal leg braces strapped to my calves every night for months. They looked like something out of a torture chamber. I wailed so much that eventually my parents stopped putting them on me. My mother booked me into ballet lessons. I was the clumsiest ballerina in the class, but pretty soon my feet straightened out all on their own.

2. What is your nickname? 
These days I don’t have one. At school, my friends tried shortening my name to Man, but that just made them sound like hippies: ‘Hey Man, what ’ya doing?’ You get the drift…

3. What is your greatest fear? 
That all the wild places will disappear. I want to protect this beautiful world – its land, oceans, animals and people. 

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Enchanted, lively, passionate, persuasive, vivid, compelling, suspenseful, dramatic sci-fi fantasy.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Dedicated, disciplined, inventive, vehement, obsessed.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Holly Short (I wish!) of the LEPrecon unit from Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series. She’s funny, smart and knows how to kick ass.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
The year 2200. I’d love to see what the world would be like in the future. I’m keen to check out all the new technology and see how civilization has evolved. I wonder whether humans will have travelled into space and how well we’ll have looked after our precious planet. Will teleportation be the main form of travel? Will humans have discovered life on other worlds?

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
My 10-year-old self would say, 'Write me a story I can escape into with lots of adventure, interesting characters, weird creatures and fearsome enemies. It must be exciting - give me goose bumps!'

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
If you mean influence on the direction of my writing, it would have to be books rather than people – and there are so many. The works of sci-fi authors like Philip K. Dick, Gene Wolfe and Sheri S. Tepper had a huge impact on me in my teens and 20s. When I was a kid I loved Tolkien, CS Lewis and Susan Cooper. Among the first books to truly inspire me were Greta the Strong by Donald J. Sobol and True Grit by Charles Portis. I loved the fierce female protagonists. I found them empowering.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
I’ve always been a daydreamer. When I was in primary school, I could never find enough of the kinds of books I liked to read so I decided to create my own. Writing then became my obsession.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Today it’s ‘incandescent’. Such a radiant word. I’m sure it’s what happiness looks like.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Lord of the Rings (the whole trilogy!). It contains everything I could want – adventure, excitement, romance, magic, diverse landscapes and an endless variety of creatures and people. 

Amanda Holohan lives and writes in the beautiful Blue Mountains. Her first published novel, The King’s Fool, was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award and included on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist. Her new novel Hunted is the action-packed sequel to sci-fantasy adventure Unwanted. For more information, see www.amandaholohan.com.