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

Tuesday 14 July 2020

12 Curly Questions with author Sharon Giltrow

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I am the youngest of eight children so, I was an aunty before I was even born. My mum and two sisters all had babies in the same year. That was a great year in our family. My first niece was born three months before me. Needless to say, she never, ever called me aunty.

2. What is your nickname?
Shaz, or Shazza, which is a great Aussie nickname for Sharon.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Being on a boat, falling off a boat and having to swim to shore. I only learnt how to swim freestyle as an adult. Now I’m not so afraid of boats. I do love swimming in the ocean but only if I can touch the bottom. So perhaps it is deep water that I am truly afraid of.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Humourous, slice of life, entertaining, heartfelt, how-to…, role reversal.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Funny, persistent, thoughtful, caring, fantastic.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
The pigeon from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Because he is funny, cheeky and very motivated.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
2035, so I could read my book to my grandchildren. My own children were a little bit too old for picture books when Bedtime Daddy came out.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
‘Well done you followed you dream’ and ‘See you don’t have to be a good speller to be a writer.’ My spelling as a child was atrocious. This is how I spelt library in Year 3: ‘lubrey’. I know because it is in front of one of my childhood books that I had in my home: ‘lubrey’.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
I would say Mo Willems. I love his style of writing. It is simple and very, very funny. I love how his writing breaks the fourth wall. Jon Klassen would be a close second.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I loved writing as a child. I never let bad spelling stop me. But then I stopped writing as an adult, until my first child was born and I wanted to start writing children’s books. I wrote one story and then stopped writing again, until my second child was born. I formed a short story writers' group and after a great year writing short stories, I realised that I really wanted to write children’s books. So, I guess my childhood started my writing, my children fuelled my desire to write and my monthly writers' group got me writing consistently.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
‘Lubrey’. I mean ‘library’ because that is where all the free books are kept. ‘Bookshop’ would be my second favourtie word for the same reason, except you have to pay for those books.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Well that’s easy — my book, Bedtime Daddy!

Sharon Giltrow grew up in South Australia, the youngest of eight children, surrounded by pet sheep and fields of barley. She now lives in Perth, WA, with her husband, two children and a tiny dog. When not writing, Sharon works with children with Developmental Language Disorder. Sharon was awarded the Paper Bird Fellowship in 2019. Her debut picture book is Bedtime Daddy (EK Books). For more information, see www.facebook.com/sharongiltrowwriter/.