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

Tuesday 2 July 2019

12 Curly Questions with author Andrew Kelly

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I once went to visit the gorillas in Rwanda.

2. What is your nickname?
Ned. For obvious reasons but I like the association. It is very Australian.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Running out of air while scuba diving.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Getting the words down and then chipping away.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Curious, observant, rhythmic, crisp, playful.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
A young Gerald Durrell in My Family and Other Animals as his family were so endlessly entertaining.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
July 1835 to see the site of Melbourne when it was bush and before it became a place of pavements and tall buildings.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Why didn’t you become a vet – that’s what I wanted?

9. Who is your greatest influence?
Gerald Durrell, because of his love of life and nature.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I have always loved reading and I wanted to start telling my own stories. My mother stayed up late one night to type up my first story at my request. The story was about a dragon and was rather like the song Puff the Magic Dragon, which I had heard on the radio. It was such a thrill to see my words in print. I did my own illustrations.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Sesquipedalian, because it has lovely rhythmic ups and downs and it means what it says: it is about long words. Originally it meant something ‘a foot-and-a-half long’.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A history of philosophy because I could read a bit and then think a bit and then read a bit more, which would make it last a long time.

Andrew Kelly is the Yarra Riverkeeper; part of an international organisation of Riverkeepers. He has written numerous books for children and adults. For more information, see www.walkerbooks.com.au.