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

Tuesday 8 May 2018

12 Curly Questions: Andrew Hansen & Jessica Roberts

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
Jessica: I am the greatest table tennis player that ever lived.
Andrew: I almost started my own ice cream shop. The only things that got in my way were laziness, incompetence and lack of ambition.

2. What is your nickname? 
Jessica: Robots.
Andrew: Hanso. This is inevitable in Australia if your name is Hansen, Hanson, Hans, Hansford, Hansdown or Hansard.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Jessica: I have an unusual fear of nests. I can deal with a bird’s nest if I have to but bug’s nests filled with cocoons are frightening and gross. I even fear things that look a bit like bug’s nests, like honeycomb and pinecones. Blergh, save me!
Andrew: It might be vomiting. I’m terribly reluctant to vomit, and will go to great lengths to avoid it.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Jessica: Messy, choppy, manic, misspelled, funny, scary, sad, flippy, coffee, madness.
Andrew: I like to break stylistic rules, so this answer’s 11 words.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Jessica: Empowered, funny, creative, hungry, comfy.
Andrew: Frank. Different. Curious. Logical. Illogical.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Jessica: Mary Poppins, because I want that magic bag so bad.
Andrew: Charles Musgrove from Persuasion, by Jane Austen. Even though he’s a bit thick, he’s healthy, uncomplicated and thoroughly decent. Which seems to make him very happy!

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
Jessica: 1332 BCE - Egypt. I’d love to meet Tutankhamen and ask why he needed so many walking sticks.
Andrew: I’d head straight for Egypt in 2000 BCE so I could check how much of it we got right.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
Jessica: Why don’t you swim in the dam anymore?
Andrew: ‘Aaargh! What’s an old version of me doing in my room?!’

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
Jessica: My incredibly funny daughter.
Andrew: Nowadays, it’s my daughter who spurs me on. Before she came along, my stuff was mostly influenced by comic writers like Norman Hunter, Roald Dahl, Spike Milligan, the Pythons and the Goodies.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
Jessica: Andrew encouraged me to write more. I’ve always loved storytelling through art and film but Andrew brought out the writer in me.
Andrew: My teachers in primary school forced me to write stories. They gave me no choice, it was part of the curriculum! I found it difficult but I also enjoyed trying to amuse my classmates.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Jessica: Butter. When ever you see the word ‘butter’ you know it’s going to be good.
Andrew: ‘Yes’. It’s heard so rarely when you’re a writer-performer; it’s precious!

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Jessica: Harry Potter. That way I get 7 books for the rest of my life! Right?!
Andrew: A Jane Austen. They’re not exactly the most thrilling page-turners, but I find them comforting and that’ll be important if I’m rereading it till I’m 110.

Jessica Roberts writes, draws and films stories. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, and a Foundation Diploma in film studies. Originally from Kyneton, Victoria, Jessica grew up surrounded by an odd collection of pets including dogs, quails, chickens, sheep, goats, rabbits and a donkey. Her stories often involve animals and she uses her childhood memories of growing up in the country as a bank of ideas for storytelling. She’s now a city-slicker living in Sydney. A trip to Egypt in 2009 inspired the idea for her first book, Bab Sharkey and The Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard.

Andrew Hansen is a comedian, actor and musician, best known as a member of Australian comedy group The Chaser, whose TV shows include Media Circus, The Hamster Wheel, The Chaser’s War On Everything and CNNNN. Andrew’s radio work includes shows on Triple M as well as composing and starring in the musical comedy series and album The Blow Parade. On stage, Andrew composed and starred in the musical Dead Caesar, the play Neville’s Island, did two national tours with The Chaser and two national tours of two-hander comedy shows with Chris Taylor. In print, he wrote for the humorous fortnightly newspaper The Chaser, 11 Chaser Annuals and The Chaser Quarterly. He has contributed short stories to Best Australian Comedy Writing and Journey Through Humour. His debut children’s book is Bab Sharkey and The Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard.

For more information on Jessica and Andrew, see www.walkerbooks.com.au.