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

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Announcement: Introducing New Team Member: Yvonne Mes

It's never easy saying goodbye and at the end of this year, we must farewell another of our most revered regular reviewers, Leanne Barrett

Leanne has been contributing her wise and witty reviews for KBR for over seven years but has finally decided to follow her heart's calling and pursue her artistic passions. Fare thee well, Leanne!!

Endings of course make way for new beginnings and so it is with equal joy that we welcome our newest recruit to our KBR family, Yvonne Mes! Yvonne is an accomplished author, illustrator and artist who is looking forward to the release of her third picture book in February 2020. Naturally the best way to welcome someone is to flood them with an ocean of incisive questions! 

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
Pretty much anyone I know would describe me as an extrovert, and I tend to come across quite confident. But that wasn’t always the case! I used to be so shy at school, that my friends would have to put up THEIR hands to ask if I could go to the bathroom.

2. What is your nickname? 
Von – It is short for Yvonne. Though I did spend a season on a woman’s soccer team where they called me Eve, and I never corrected them. It turns out to be an excellent name for ordering coffee; I no longer get asked: ‘How do you spell that?’

3. What is your greatest fear?
Gosh, I have a few. But one of my greatest fears is dementia. The thought of losing the memories that have made me who I am, including the emotional connection to my loved ones, scares me.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words. 
Up for anything, I like a challenge, bring it on.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 
Pepijn, he is a character from a Dutch picture book by the same name, written and illustrated by Hans Andreus. I read it as a child in Amsterdam. It is about a man who doesn’t want to get out of bed. But, he still needs to go to work, so his boss attaches tires, a motor, steering wheel and a horn to his bed and off he goes, fully functional from the comfort of his bed.

I love to sleep, I love my bed, I can SOOOOOO relate to this character!

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
The future. I’d love to have a peek at the world in 50 years. Then again, it might be too depressing. Instead, I’d like to witness the creative excesses of the roaring twenties in Europe. I  also wouldn’t mind meeting the artists’ colony of Heide here in Australia in the late 30s.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Goed gedaan. Which would translate to: Well done, you.

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
There are some magnificent ladies promoting children’s literature and its creators in Queensland, they motivate me and at times exasperate me with what seems to be their boundless energy. Women such as Jenny Stubbs, Mia Macrossan and Megan Daley, whose passion for children’s literature is inspiring. 

10. What/who made you start writing? 
My mother and her friends. They started my love of books. I remember being in my tweens and listening in when they were discussing the books they were reading. It led me to read some books at an age where their meaning was totally lost on me, but, their enthusiasm and love for story nudged me to go beyond reading and start writing. I enjoy reading stories aloud with children and that, combined with a career working with children, finally led me to write and illustrate for children.

11. What is your favourite word, and why? 
Zwoel, (pronounced as zwool) which is Dutch for Sultry. Actually, I quite like the sound of sultry as well.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What a ridiculous question.  I can’t answer that. It’s like asking me to pick my favourite child!

Yvonne Mes is a children’s author and illustrator living in Australia, represented by Mayfair Literary Agency. She coordinates Brisbane based group, Write Links. She buys more books than she can read, comes up with more ideas than she can write or illustrate and has more children than she can manage (3 boys). But she does try very hard, and best of all, she is NEVER bored. For more information, visit her website: www.yvonnemes.com