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

Tuesday 27 October 2020

12 Curly Questions with author Lucy Barnard

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I really wanted to be a vet when I was younger as I love animals. My aunty was a veterinary nurse and arranged for me to visit the practice one day. It was all going well until I was asked to help inject a cat. Sfter feeling decidedly queasy and my legs turning to jelly, I needed a lot of fresh air and came to the conclusion that perhaps the life of a vet wasn’t going to be for me.

2. What is your nickname?  
I’ve never really had one, although my name does get shortened to ‘Luce’ quite a lot and my Dad used to call me ‘Lockett’ (he still does sometimes).

3. What is your greatest fear?   
Aside from the ever-present worrying about my children, I have to say I have a huge fear of sharks. Swimming in the sea, even if there is no chance of encountering a shark, always fills me with dread. I just can’t understand people who swim or surf in areas where Great Whites have been spotted. Eek! Having said that, I am absolutely fascinated by sharks and will always watch documentaries about them. Jaws is one of my favourite films. Make of that what you will!

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.  
Short and sweet, goes hand-in-hand with my illustrations.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.  
Enthusiastic, imaginative, focused, ambitious, curious.

6. What book character would you be, and why?  
Roald Dahl’s Matilda. I always have been (and still am) a voracious reader and I remember thinking that I had read most of the children’s books in the local library when I was a child. Also, I was convinced that I had some sort of special power and was always waiting for it to kick in. Moving things around like Matilda does would have been awesome.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?  
July 1969. Last year was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and I became absolutely fascinated by all of the documentaries, podcasts and footage. What an incredible achievement, it still blows my mind when I look up at the moon and think of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking those first steps.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?  
You did it! You’re writing and drawing and making up stuff for a living! I always knew it would be the best job in the world.

9. Who is your greatest influence?  
I was always inspired by my Granny Pat who went to the Slade School of Art and was incredibly creative. And my parents have been so supportive and a highly positive, consistent influence throughout my life.

10. What/who made you start writing?  
Reading made me start writing! As I said before, I read so much as a child and that in turn led to me making up my own stories. I had a teacher at primary school (Miss Langman) who was so encouraging of my creative writing and artwork. She wrote in one of my exercise books that I would be a writer one day and I still have that exercise book now. I showed it to her recently as we are still in touch and I also dedicated one of my books to her. Amazing teachers are worth their weight in gold.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Imagination. This is at the heart of everything that I create. It’s always been with me and I can’t envisage life without it.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?  
That is such a difficult question to answer. After much deliberation and consideration (and mind-changing) I would have to say Alice in Wonderland. I can remember the first time I read it I was quite young and it seemed so strange and wondrous, unlike anything else I had read. The characters are so diverse and unique and I get something new from it each time I re-read it. 

Lucy studied for her illustration degree in Exeter before moving to London to work in publishing. She subsequently became a freelance artist and, after illustrating many books for other authors, she wrote and illustrated Squirrel’s Busy Day in 2013. Since then she has written and illustrated many other picture books and has recently started writing for other illustrators. Lucy is from Cheltenham but now lives in Manchester with her husband and two children. She is represented by Advocate Art and the Caroline Wakeman Literary Agency. For more information see www.carolinewakeman.com/authors
or www.advocate-art.com/lucy-barnard