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

Tuesday 19 December 2017

12 Curly Questions with author Janet A Holmes

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I see words and numbers in colour. I think lots of people do actually. But not many people talk about it. I think we assume it is the same for everyone.

2. What is your nickname? 
I’ve never had a real nickname.

3. What is your greatest fear? 

4. Describe your writing style in ten words. 
My style reflects a less-is-more approach to writing.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Minimalist, intuitive, restrained, thoughtful, hopeful.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Probably Jane Eyre. She is strong, intelligent, resilient and sensitive and ends up happy.
 But I’m also very fond of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. She is smart and sweet and she also triumphed. Maybe, there’s a theme here ...

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
1890. My grandmother ( a strong, independent and somewhat scary but influential woman) was born in this year. The suffragette movement was in full swing and many of my favourite artists were active.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
Will you write me a story please. 

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
I always find this question too hard to answer. So I’m going to side-step it by saying Antoine de Saint Exupéry because he wrote the book that means more to me than any other book, The Little Prince. The fox’s secret — it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye — resonated from an early age and still does.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
I used to enjoy writing when I was at school. Then when I was training to be a primary school teacher, I couldn’t find the stories that I wanted for certain exercises and classes so I started writing my own. I put creative writing aside when I had a career change until one day I drew a little chicken on a yellow post-it note while I was trying to draft a report (I doodled when I couldn’t find a word I needed). It was a cute chicken and I decided that I would write a story about it. I sent it off to a publisher and while that story didn’t end up being published, it got the ball rolling.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Brindabella. The mountains that run alongside where I live are called the Brindabellas. They have a strikingly beautiful silhouette. The word sounds great, looks pretty, is fun to say and it conjures up the presence of the mountains that I love so much.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.
 There is so much of interest in this multi-volume work. Proust is an extraordinary observer of human nature and is also very funny. 

Janet A Holmes grew up in Perth and now lives in Canberra. She has worked as a research assistant and, following a Graduate Diploma in Education, as a teacher-librarian in a primary school. Janet is the author of several books including the 2017 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlisted Blue Sky, Yellow Kite.