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

Wednesday 17 June 2020

12 Curly Questions with author Ashling Kwok

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I’m a terrible skier. I actually got stuck on a mountain once and had to beg the rescue team to help me get down because I kept falling off the T-bar. I can still hear the group of five-year-old professional skiers chanting, 'Don’t give up. Don’t give up.' Let’s just say I never, ever want to go anywhere near a ski field again.

2. What is your nickname?
I usually just get called Ash or Ashes. Actually my sister calls me Cat – but that’s a whole other story.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Amusement park rides! I can’t think of anything worse than going on a rollercoaster or anything similar. The logical part of my brain just doesn’t understand why anyone would want to do that.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Sometimes emotional, sometimes funny but always straight from the heart.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Curious, playful, experimental, instinctual, heartfelt.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Paddington Bear. He has a big heart but he isn’t perfect. He also gets to wear a cool outfit, go on exciting adventures, and he always has a snack on hand when he needs it.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Definitely the 1980s! Great music, cool clothes, and a much simpler life in so many ways.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Why did you waste so much time? To which I would reply – so I could really appreciate what I have now.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My family. My husband, for supporting me quietly from the sidelines, and my children, for being an endless source of inspiration. Without their encouragement and belief, I would never have made it to the other side.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I’ve always loved listening to people’s stories and analysing why human beings act the way they do. Writing allows me to explore this on a deeper level. It’s such an interesting way to explore the human condition.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Perception – because it determines what we see and how we act in the world.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Gosh, that’s hard. I’m going to say The Heart in the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers. Reading that book changed my life. It’s a brilliant example of how difficult subjects can be tackled in a beautiful and sensitive way.

Ashling is a children’s author and freelance journalist from Sydney. She spends her days dreaming up new ideas, working on her latest manuscripts, and browsing local bookstores, marvelling at all the wonderful books created by talented children’s authors. Her debut picture book, Lola and Grandpa was published in May 2020. The Battle was released in June 2020. For more information, see www.ashlingkwok.com.au.