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

Tuesday 8 September 2020

12 Curly Questions with author Sally Murphy

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I have a fear of making phonecalls – especially to people I know! I have an irrational fear that they won’t want to talk to me.

2. What is your nickname?  
A bit boring, because I’ve never had a nickname that stuck, although people do call me ‘Sal’ (which I don’t mind in passing, but don’t like as regular thing).

3. What is your greatest fear?  
That climate change, and the influence of big businesses who insist on profit over care for our planet, will take away the future for the world’s children.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.   
I write a lot and hope that it works out.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.  
Eclectic, enthusiastic, emotional, poetic, warm.

6. What book character would you be, and why?  
Funnily, I would probably be Pearl, from my own Pearl Verses the World. This is not because of what happens to her, but because my husband once told me that I am Pearl – which was a very wise thing for him to say, because our lives are not the same, but her insecurities and world view are very much mine, especially at her age.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?  
Maybe to 1969. I have heard so many people tell the story of how they felt/where they were when the first astronauts landed on the moon. It seems it was a day when anything seemed possible. I was too little when it happened to have any memory of it, so I’d like to see if it really was a day of unrivalled optimism.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?  
Learn to like yourself.

9. Who is your greatest influence?  
That’s a toughie. I think I am influenced by the total of all the brilliant authors I read in my childhood, and still do, as well as by the readers who engage with my books and tell me they like them.

10. What/who made you start writing?  
My family. Mum made sure were surrounded by books, and I started making up my own stories even before I could write. I was encouraged to keep going, so I did.

11. What is your favourite word and why?  
My favourite word changes based on mood, recent experiences, and what I’ve read recently. Today my favourite word is ‘arrant’ because I’ve been rereading poems from my childhood. Arrant is used by RL Stevenson to describe his shadow, and now I keep trying to find a way to use it in my speech.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?  
Oh. Hard one. But I think, because a collection of poetry could cover all my moods and be dipped in and out of, it would have to be a poetry collection. Perhaps. Volume one of the Childcraft Library (from the 1970s) which was called Poems and Rhymes. I spent so many days just dipping in and out, and still do so now.

Sally Murphy is an author, poet and educator, who lives and breathes all things book. When not reading, or writing, or talking about reading and writing, she loves spending time with her family, and walking on the beach. For more information, see www.sallymurphy.com.au.