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

Tuesday 30 July 2019

12 Curly Questions with author Heather Neilly

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I was a high-school champion discus thrower

2. What is your nickname?
I don’t have one! Unfortunately, nothing has stuck.

3. What is your greatest fear?
That the damage we are doing to the planet is irreparable

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Irreverent and lyrical, finding inspiration in the wonder of nature.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Sweet, zesty, driven, funny and fun

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Pig the Pug, he makes no excuses

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I would love to see Australia before Europeans arrived in 1788. Since that time, 27 species of unique Australian mammals have gone extinct! Imagine glimpsing a Tasmanian tiger, a toolache wallaby or a pig-footed bandicoot in the wild. Unfortunately, once these species are extinct, they are gone forever.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Keep practising the guitar! You will be a much cooler adult if you can play an instrument.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My kids’ author idols are Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss and Aaron Blabey.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I felt like I had something to say. I love seeing a story come to life. For me, it’s like fitting together the pieces of a puzzle.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Serendipity, because what could be better than a happy accident?

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The complete works of Kafka? It would probably take me a lifetime to ponder and explore the myriad interpretations.

Heather Neilly is a writer, scientist and lover of the wild. She is the author of Who’s Making That Noise?, with Anil Tortop. She works as an ecologist, studying the relationships between native plants and animals, and working to restore degraded ecosystems. She currently lives in the Riverland region of South Australia with her husband, two daughters and red dog Cliff. Her new book is Barefoot Bea. For more information, see neillywrites.com.