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

Tuesday 27 March 2018

12 Curly Questions with author Jacqueline Harvey

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
Lots of people know that I love to play golf but my best golfing moment came on the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland where I scored an eagle on the second hole – I couldn’t believe it!

2. What is your nickname? 
Jacq, but my little sister used to call me Duckling when she was small as she couldn’t get her tongue around Jacqueline.

3. What is your greatest fear? 
Heights. We went to the Grand Canyon last year and I felt sick being even a couple of metres from the edge – but then again it is almost 2km to the bottom.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Mysterious, character driven, exciting, intricate plots, highly visual, fast, funny.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Focused, persistent, hardworking, grateful, happy.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Tough choice. Alice-Miranda because she has some pretty incredible adventures, Clementine Rose has a pet tea cup pig and lives in a hotel (who doesn’t want that life!) and Kensy (or Max) – from my new series, Kensy and Max, as the twins have some very exciting times ahead. Perhaps I could have a stint as each one of them?

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
I’d love to go back to England in 1788 and meet my six times great-grandfather, Matthew Everingham, who was a convict on the First Fleet, sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing two law books in London. I’d love to know what it was like to make that journey from England and settle in the new colony. I’d then like to jump forward to the late 1800s and meet my great-great-grandmother Amy Robinson who was a Wiradjuri woman from Peak Hill, in the central west of NSW.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
Who knew that all those times you were spying on the neighbours and inventing wild stories about everyone, it would lead to this!

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
My husband, Ian. He has encouraged and supported every step of my writing journey. He has believed in my ability to get things done even when I haven’t and he listens to every mad idea and reads (and listens) to every draft. He’s a pretty amazing guy!

10. What/who made you start writing? 
I was a teacher for a long time and I loved writing stories and poems and plays for the children at school. I thought it would be wonderful to write for a broader audience, but it took me a long time to get up the confidence to give it a go.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Serendipitous. I seem to have a lot of serendipitous things happen in my life – happy coincidences that sometimes seem ridiculous but they’re real.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would like a giant book of stories by all my favourite authors – it would be the biggest bind-up collection in the world!

Jacqueline Harvey worked in schools for many years but has had a passion for storytelling since she was a child. She is the author of the popular Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series, which have sold over 1 million copies in Australia alone. Her books have received numerous short-listings and awards while her picture book, The Sound of the Sea, was a CBCA Honour Book. Jacqueline speaks to thousands of young people at schools and festivals around the world, and says the characters in her books are often made up of the best bits of children she’s met over the years. While she is not a twin, like Kensy and Max, she does have excellent powers of observation and has always thought she’d make a great spy. Jacqueline lives in Sydney and is currently working on Kensy and Max’s second adventure, which will be published in September 2018. For more information, see www.jacquelineharvey.com.