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

Tuesday 23 October 2018

12 Curly Questions with author Dannika Patterson

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
In the late '90s I was a reluctant member of a Spice Girls cover group. Yes, there are photos. No, you may not see them!

2. What is your nickname?
Spanky. And I’m not actually sure why. My good friend Dave just turned to me in the middle of a Journalism 101 lecture one day and announced that from now on, that was what he was going to call me. It’s stuck for almost two decades now.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Death of a loved one. Having no chocolate in the house to combat writer’s block is also up there.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Uplifting and lyrical. Straight from the heart. Always a message.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Optimistic. Determined. Cheeky. Focused. Editable.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Jo March from Little Women. She has a mix of character traits that I can relate to. She is devoted to her family, brave, daring, loyal, principled and real. She is a dreamer who is happiest either out in nature or being completely absorbed by the acts of reading or writing. She craves freedom in all her pursuits and gets cranky at being told what to do. She is capable of being rational, practical and responsible but makes most of her decisions based on her emotions/heart.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I would love brief visits to 2012 and 2014; the years that each of my children were born. I would love to pop back and delight in each of my babes in that first year again. To smell the tops of their heads, to kiss their soft cheeks, to let their small fists close around my index finger… and then come back to the present before they need a nappy change or wake me up 17 times during the night!

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
About time you followed our dream to become a published children’s author! What took you so long? I told you we’d love it.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My mum. She is the best mum in the history of the world. She is the kind of grandmother that every child should be blessed with. Every child who has come into her life is better off for having known her. She sees children as fully formed people. She gets them. Which is, I think, why I get them. She has been my teacher, greatest advocate and fiercest protector. She’s also the person who lets me know when I get something wrong. She is the first person I show my new manuscripts to.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I can’t remember not being able to write. And again, that’s down to my mum. She read me all the books. Again and again. I have always tended to express myself more gracefully in writing than in spoken word. Although Jacaranda Magic is my first published book, writing has been central throughout my career as an international marketer, copywriter and content creator.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Foist. I just find it a very satisfying word to say.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. This is my comfort book. The one I go to when I am feeling overloaded but still need to read. I must have read it at least 50 times over the past 25 years or so. I’ve enjoyed every single page turn, every time.

Dannika Patterson is a children’s author and small business owner. Her debut picture book, Jacaranda Magic, explores the value of boredom and is a celebration of imagination, creativity and outdoor play. When she is not writing stories for children she helps businesses tell their stories, as a marketing and copywriting consultant. For more information, see www.dannikapatterson.com.