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

Tuesday 18 February 2020

10 Quirky Questions with Australian Children's Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky

1. What's your hidden talent?
Well I like mowing the lawn. I don't know if I'm exactly talented at it - but I do like it.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Count Olaf from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. He makes me laugh because he's not very good at hiding his badness even though he thinks he is!

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Dr Seuss, Wanda Gag, Edith Nesbit, EB White, May Gibbs. All ghosts. I don't think I'd sit down with them. I would be the servant, sneaking in and out with the dishes.

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Thing One and Thing Two, who clean up all the mess in The Cat In The Hat.

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Impulsive, anxious, wandering, wondering, discovering.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
Funny. Moving. Puzzling. Sparking. Sincere.

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
A nice old desk, a comfy chair, a chandelier, a crystal bottle, a very big bookshelf.

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!)
'Sofas are good for lying on, hiding behind, sliding things underneath, jumping on, squishing up on and sinking down into.'
The book is So Long, See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
Rumer Godden — What really happened in that house in Kashmir in 1944???

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Well, my instinct says I would rather never write another story, because I love reading so much. But I suppose if I was locked up in prison with no books, I could entertain myself by inventing stories. So I'm not sure!

Ursula was born and grew up in Sydney in a family of writers and wanted to be a writer from the age of six. She is the author of more than 50 books for children and young adults and her work is published all over the world. She has won several national literary awards, including the Victorian, Queensland and South Australian state awards for literature, and has also won the NSW Premier's Literary Award a record five times. Internationally, she has been nominated for both the Hans Christian Andersen and Astrid Lindgren awards. She has a PhD in English literature and currently lives in Sydney. She has just been named Australia's new Children's Laureate. For more information, see www.ursuladubosarsky.squarespace.com. You can read more Kids' Book Review interviews with Ursula and some reviews of her books here.