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

Tuesday 3 September 2019

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Gabriel Evans

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
Aged 12 I collected antique editions of boys' books of hobbies. Some of these ‘hobbies’ were incredibly dangerous – looking at the sun through a telescope or painting phosphorous on your face to glow in the dark. I was sensible enough to not attempt them!

2. What is your nickname?
I don’t have a nickname, although some people struggle saying my name and I hear some weird pronunciations.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Not having a dog. They’re a bundle of joy and love you to pieces – although, I should add, my dog is extremely annoying and chases birds in trees when she’s bored. Nothing’s perfect.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Simple and direct words in close relationship with my illustrations.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Quiet, curious, amusing, thoughtful, questioning.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Can I say a character from my own book? Is that allowed? I relate with Augustus, the very big dog. He’s a character that’s content in his own company.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I would travel to 1996 when I was four and holidaying in England. It was a memorable trip. Plus, I’d try and find the aeroplane I lost on my grandfather’s roof.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Why aren’t you living in England in a castle? We discussed this.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My parents. They encouraged me to follow my passion in book illustration. They’ve been very supportive.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I started out illustrating books. But the combination of words and art fascinates me. The relationship between the two can be fragile, fractious and harmonious.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Contrafibularities – a sarcastic congratulation. It’s a word I discovered while watching Blackadder the Third. I sadly can’t see any opportunity to include it in a future book.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?  
Winne-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, a book that makes me both laugh and reflect.

Gabriel is a children’s book author/illustrator from Western Australia. His latest picture book, Ollie and Augustus (Walker Books) started as a drawing and a question in his sketchbook and grew into a story about little Ollie and his best friend (and dog) Augustus. Gabriel writes, paints and drinks coffee near a river. For more information, see www.gabrielevansartist.com.