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

Tuesday 24 December 2019

10 Quirky Questions with author Gareth Ward

1. What's your hidden talent?
I’m not sure that I have a hidden talent, because to be honest I’m a bit of a show off and if I’m good at something I want everyone to know. If I can have a surprising talent, it would be hypnosis. When I started to hypnotise people as part of my magic routines I discovered that I was really good at it. To me, hypnosis is the closest we can come to performing real magic. Just by using words I can make it so that someone can’t see me; their brain is blocking me from their view. It’s so bizarre.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
My favourite literary villain would have to be Lord Voldemort. He is unapologetically evil, all powerful and yet still full of self-doubt, with a need for validation, which makes him such a great conflicted character. However, if you were to ask which literary villain evoked the strongest response of visceral hatred in me, it would have to be Dolores Umbridge. I marvel at how Rowling makes me loathe her so much.

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Jonathan Stroud because I love Lockwood & Co. HP Lovecraft because he must be insane and I want to know if any of it is real. Philip Pullman because of the beauty of his writing and we could both talk about Oxford. Terry Pratchett because he would bring a bit of light humour and I think he and HP would hit it off. Erin Morgenstern because The Night Circus is one of my all-time favourite novels and it makes me want to cry when I realise it’s not real and I can never visit it. JK Rowling, because why wouldn’t you? It’s JK Rowling.

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Gravitanium. Not an invention per se, but a metal that throws off the effects of gravity when heated. I invented it in The Traitor and the Thief and it plays a more significant role in The Clockill and The Thief. I’ve always wanted to be able to fly and I think with the use of gravitanium it would be possible to make some form of flying suit. Not that I’m giving away any secrets for the third book!

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Hard, imaginative, fun, creative, wonderful.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
Wealthier than JK Rowling.

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
My dog, Tonks. After that, none of the other objects matter. Although you would also find my police helmet, some Griffins Toffee Pops (the king of biscuits) a toy rabbit called Tog I had as a child, and the umbrella cabinet of doom, which is a giant magical box my daughter used to go into while I speared it with myriad umbrellas.

8. Grab the nearest book, open it to page 22 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)

Grass green as a treefrog’s back now covered the crash site, verdant blades of hope masking the horror beneath. (Grass was the word from Whatever it Takes, by Paul Cleave.)

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask? 
 I would ask Patrick Ness why he killed Manchee in the Knife of Never Letting Go. It still haunts me, and I’ve never forgiven him.

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Never write. I love reading too much and writing is hard. 

Gareth Ward,aka The Great Wardini, is a magician, hypnotist, storyteller, bookseller and author. He has worked as a Royal Marine Commando, Police Officer, Evil Magician and Zombie. He basically likes jobs where you get to wear really cool hats. He currently resides in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand where he runs two independent bookshops, Wardini Books and Wardini Books Napier with his wife, Louise. He has a goldfish called Luna, a dog called Tonks and is certain his letter from Hogwarts has been lost in the post. His first novel,The Traitor and the Thief, a rip-roaring young adult Steampunk adventure, won the 2016 Storylines Tessa Duder Award, the 2018 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel, a 2018 Storylines Notable Book Award and was a finalist in two categories at The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. His second novel, The Clockill and the Thief was released in August 2019. For more information, see www.garethwardauthor.com.