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

Tuesday 26 September 2017

12 Curly Questions with author Meg McKinlay

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I was once on a Japanese high school cheerleading team. My role involved yelling: 'Are you ready?' in English to rapturous applause.

2. What is your nickname? 
Megsy. The Moo.

3. What is your greatest fear?
It’s never occurred to me to rank my fears! When I was a kid, I was frightened that wolves would come through my bedroom window at night but thankfully that seems to have passed. I used to love bungy jumping, sky diving and things of that sort, but seem to have become more nervous about heights as I’ve got older.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Thought-provoking, quirky, associative, voicey, rambling, nuanced, lyrical, humorous, variable, character-driven.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Resilient, versatile, thoughtful, sincere, hard-working.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, because her father is Atticus Finch and her neighbour is Boo Radley.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
Any year in the future where the human race has developed the power of flight.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
I’m sorry … do I know you?

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
All things considered, probably my father, who read me poetry from a very young age, and who, along with my mother, always encouraged my idiosyncratic and bookish ways. He also once told me I was a bright pebble on the beach of life.

10. What/who made you start writing?
The combination of my curiosity about the world and my love of language has meant I’ve always been a scribbler of fragments, of bits and pieces that occasionally turned into poetry. When my daughter was born and I returned to children’s books, I found that ideas with a more narrative shape started bouncing around in my head; that’s what eventually turned me into a children’s writer.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
This is something that changes all the time, but at the moment I’m very fond of the Welsh word hiraeth, which means something like a longing for one’s homeland, perhaps one to which you can no longer return. It’s a beautiful-sounding word and also captures a melancholy quality I find intrinsically appealing.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I can't name a title, but it would definitely be a poetry anthology - a thick one I could dip into over and over. 

Meg McKinlay’s writing for children ranges from picture books through to young adult fiction. Her publications include the Prime Minister's Literary Award-winning A Single Stone, and CBCA-shortlisted No Bears and Duck for a Day, among many others. Meg lives near Fremantle, in WA, and is always busy cooking up books. For more information, see www.megmckinlay.com.