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

Tuesday 15 May 2018

12 Curly Questions with author Charles Hope

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I was a talented ballroom dancer as a child. It began when mum and I were waiting for my sister to finish her class. The teacher lamented there weren’t enough boys taking part, so Mum threw me to the wolves.

2. What is your nickname? 
Seegs – short for Seagull – because I can be relied upon to eat other people’s food, leftovers or otherwise.

3. What is your greatest fear? 
Mouldy food. Even seagulls have standards.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Gently paced, beguiling, heartbreaking and uplifting narratives, usually about outsiders.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Evocative, layered, concise, classically inspired.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
(The Fantastic) Mr Fox, because he is brave, cunning and anti-establishment, and ultimately triumphs over the baddies.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
I’d go to Tenochtitlan during the height of the Aztec Empire, somewhere towards the latter half of the 15th century. 10-year-old me was absolutely obsessed with the Aztecs.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? 
How much longer am I going to have a bowl cut?

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
In life, my wife. She is an absolute peach and has always been my greatest supporter and most trusted sounding board. In writing, Roald Dahl. He lived an incredible life and wrote the library of my childhood. I especially loved the grotesque world of The Twits.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
While studying screenwriting at RMIT my contact details wound up on the wrong mailing list (Professional Writing and Editing). I ended up getting a work placement with a publisher and my career has snowballed from there.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Aristeia. To me it suggests that anyone, if only for a moment, can achieve something truly great.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

Charles Hope is a children’s picture book author. He grew up on a farm near Wagga Wagga, and now lives with his wife and their infant daughter in Melbourne. He studied arts and screenwriting before working for Wild Dog Books, where he creates non-fiction picture books for primary students. You can find out more about Charles and his latest book, The Year of the Dog, at www.charleswhope.wordpress.com.