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

Tuesday 7 July 2020

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Kate Knapp

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
On a personal level, I feel a strong connection with the spiritual and mystical. I find it fascinating. I believe that our loved ones walk with us and there are messages in nature if you look.

2. What is your nickname? 
I have quite a few nicknames. Some of my favourites are Tink, Katinka, Katie and Popsy.

3. What is your greatest fear? 
Losing my loved ones. The older I get the more I realise that every moment of this life is a gift. This quote from Sir Francis Bacon sums it up: 'We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake…'

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
I write like I paint – descriptive, colourful, meaningful, emotive, comforting, transportive, nostalgic, traditional, evocative and thoughtful.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. 
Loving, enchanting, expressive, humorous, imaginative.

6. What book character would you be, and why? 

As a child it would have been the Boy in The Borrowers books, by Mary Norton, who befriends Arrietty Clock, one of the borrowers. It was my dream as a child to have small people living under the floor and to make them miniature furniture and food. I used to imagine the little things they could borrow for their hidden home.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? 
The idea of travelling through time scares me. It is a privilege to be a female at this time in history. We have great freedom and opportunity. I would stay in the present.

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now? 
Regardless of years, our inner child remains the same. The true essence of you will never change. You will always believe in mystical and magical things. Nature will make more sense to you than anything else you’ll find in life. Your family will be your greatest friends. But never forget that you are your best friend.

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
My parents – they are very interesting, loving and wise.

10. What/who made you start writing? 
I had a story to tell and it took shape in a small white hare called Ruby Red Shoes. Writing was a way for me to communicate the story about Ruby’s world and her message to the world.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
Enchanted.  I first loved this word from the title of a much-loved Enid Blyton book, The Enchanted Wood. The definition of enchanted is to be placed under a spell, bewitched, filled with delight and/or charmed, which is exactly how being in nature makes me feel. I have recently moved to a cottage in a wood just like the book. I am fully enchanted by my natural surrounds. It is magic.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
The Valley of Horses by Jean M Auel, which is the second book in the Earth’s Children series about life in Paleolithic Europe. The heroine is Ayla, a character I love and admire. The series of six books follow Ayla’s life from childhood, when as an orphan she was adopted by the ‘Clan’ or Neanderthals, through her journeys, finding her people and her gifts as a medicine woman. 

Illustrator and artist Kate Knapp is a graduate of the Queensland College of Art. Her design studio, Twigseeds, produces cards, prints, stationery and books. Kate's first book, Ruby Red Shoes, was shortlisted for the 2013 Children's Book Council of Australia Crichton Award for Children's Book Illustration. Her second book, Ruby Red Shoes Goes to Paris, was shortlisted for the 2014 Australian Book Industry Award for Book of the Year for Younger Children and for the 2014 Inaugural Readings Children's Book Prize. Kate's third book is Ruby Red Shoes Goes to London. Kate is also the creator of a series of early learning books. Titles include Learn with Ruby Red Shoes: Alphabet Book, Learn with Ruby Red Shoes: Counting Book, The World of Ruby Red Shoes: A Book About Ruby's Day and The World of Ruby Red Shoes: A Book About Ruby's Feelings. Ruby Red Shoes: My Wonderful Grandmother is her latest book. For more information, see rubyredshoes.com.au.