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

Tuesday 9 January 2018

12 Curly Questions with author Claire Christian

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I LOVE action movies. The daggier the better. I’m all about big explosions, car chases, epic stunts, bad dialogue – they make me unreasonably happy.

2. What is your nickname? 
Pearl. I’ve had the nickname since I was about five or six. My brother and I started calling each ‘Roy’ and ‘Pearl’ as a riff on ‘boy’ and ‘girl’. I wish I knew the story behind it, because it’s stuck for so long. My brother and I both have Roy and Pearl tattoos and my Mum called her two dogs Roy and Pearl as an ode to her kids who had left the nest. 'Claire and Pearl' is the name of my blog and social media handles now, too.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I am petrified of snakes. If Snakes on a Plane ever became my reality, I would not be okay, even if Samuel.L Jackson arrived to save the day. I think I’d feel really conflicted about this, actually.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Messy. Character driven. Dialogue. Write every day. Too many ideas.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Funny. Sweet. Awkward. Diversity. Realistic.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Claudia in The Baby-Sitters Club. She was my first fashion icon. Or Claire in the Outlander series, because Jamie Fraser. Obviously. Also, she’s a bold, fierce, bad ass, smart lady who impresses me.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
The 1960s, for selfish reasons. I’d go clothes shopping. But I’d also buy an excellent inner-city home because I could afford to buy a house back then. Now? Not so much.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
I think 10-year-old Claire would be so excited that future her had purple hair and tattoos and sparkly clothes and that she wrote plays and novels and worked in the theatre and helped young people to make art. I think she’d be really stoked at the way things have turned out, actually. 

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
There are so many impressive women who I look up to who are politically and spiritually savvy. Who do amazing work and help people and who’ve found the balance between being themselves and having diverse careers. They influence me, absolutely. Women like Elizabeth Gilbert, Oprah, Iris Apfel, Shonda Rhimes, Lindy West and so, so many more. Thank goodness for the internet – I just wish I had role models like this when I was a teenager.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
I don’t think I really had a choice. It’s just something I’ve always done. It’s how I make sense of my feelings and the world. Words are my love language and my most favourite thing ever. I didn’t really start showing my writing to other people though until I was well in to my twenties. It’s a vulnerable thing being a writer.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Winnebago. It feels good when you say it. And pom-pom – what a great word.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This question is too hard. I’ve sat staring at the screen for too long trying to pick just one. Can I trade the one book for the rest of my life for a pen and paper so I could just write my own novels? Please.

Claire Christian is a novelist and playwright who lives in Brisbane. She has had three plays published by Playlab, and her play Bloom was shortlisted for the Griffin Award in 2009. She was one of the YWCA Queensland 125 leading women in 2013. Beautiful Mess won the Text Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing in 2016. For more information, see www.claireandpearl.com.