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

Tuesday 3 November 2020

12 Curly Questions with author Allison Rushby

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I can ice skate. Jumps, spins, white boots, sequinned costumes, the whole bit. At least, I used to be able to.

2. What is your nickname?
AJ for Allison Jane. Jane is for Jane Austen. Writing was meant to be! I know I'm in trouble when my parents call me Allison and not AJ.

3. What is your greatest fear?  
I don't like any sorts of adrenaline sports. They fill me with horror. A while back I was 'gifted' (if you can call it that) something called a 'hot lap' in a very noisy, fast car. I was meant to do three laps, but I made the driver pull over after one lap and got out. I hated everything about it. Books and tea over adrenaline sports any day!

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.  
Ghosts with issues, tea and buns, lots of lovely old things. (I know that's eleven words, but I have always been terrible at maths.)

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.  
Curious, tenacious, always writing, tea-soaked.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I'd like to be Milly-Molly-Mandy, because she seems to lead a pretty perfect existence in that nice white cottage with the thatched roof of hers. Also, she has great friends, a very fetching pink-and-white-striped dress and super-cute flicky hair. Doesn't get better than that.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I'd like to visit London in 1925 to really take in that heady time between the two World Wars. I'd love to drink in the transport, the fashion and watch people simply going about their lives. But I would also like to take some antibiotics and a dentist with me, thanks very much.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Good news! Most of the maths you learn in school you will never need again!

9. Who is your greatest influence?  
Probably my mother (Pamela Rushby, who is also an author of very similar books). I know lots of authors whose parents weren't very keen on them becoming writers, whereas I was always encouraged to write (I get all my mathematical skills from her too, unfortunately).

10. What/who made you start writing?  
I have always written (ever since I can remember, anyway), but it was probably my husband who convinced me to start writing novels. I have no idea why, but I tried to talk myself out of doing so for the longest time ("I'd be so bad at writing dialogue", "novels are so long", "good description is really difficult"). Eventually he got sick of my whining and told me to just get on with it. So I did.

11. What is your favourite word and why?  
Oubliette and ambergris (I have always had two and it would be very unfair to choose one over the other, don't you think? Also, maths again).

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?  
Probably The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It really does have a bit of everything, including that horrifying bit at the start where everyone dies of cholera, which I somehow always forget about and then end up reading wide-eyed, so I'd never get bored! 

Allison Rushby, the daughter of an author, was raised on a wholesome and steady diet of classic English literature. Some of her favourite books, re-read countless dog-eared times include Rumer Godden's The Dolls' House, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle and Noel Streatfield's 'Shoes' series. She has long been a fan of cities with long, winding histories; wild, overgrown cemeteries; red brick Victorian museums; foxes, and ivy. She prefers to write with a cup of Darjeeling tea by her side and a Devon Rex cat curled up in her lap. For more information, see www.allisonrushby.com.