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

Tuesday 12 January 2021

10 Quirky Questions with author Sue Lawson

1. What's your hidden talent?
That’s a tricky one. I’m pretty open about everything, so not sure I have any secrets, or hidden talents. Actually, I LOVE cleaning out and organising cupboards, drawers, etc. Drives my family nuts as they can’t find anything, but I love it. And I love following organisers on Instagram.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
For sheer terror, IT from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. Our Grade 4 teacher Mrs Phillip read it to us. While I couldn’t remember the name of the book, I have always remembered IT. Then as an adult I stumbled across A Wrinkle In Time and met IT again. That thing still disturbs me. As an adult, my favourite villain is Lady Macbeth. I love how she changes from a ruthless manipulating wife into a tortured soul.

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Hmmmm. That’s a toughie. There are so many authors I admire. These are the first to spring to mind for all kinds of reasons: Tim Winton, Helen Garner, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, John Irving. How is that for a mix? They’ve all written books I’ve loved and have stayed with me well after I turned the last page.

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Hermoine Granger’s Time Changer. There’s so many places and eras I’d love to visit.

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Messy – I throw ideas all over the place and wrangle them into a story.
Absorbing – the rest of the world disappears when I’m in the flow.
Distracted – When I start a new project I’m easily distracted, especially when researching.
Magical – there’s something magical and fantastical about writing.
Supported – I have the most incredible support crew - family, friends and my publisher.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
That’s a really tough one, as none of us can know how we will be remembered. I guess I hope my words will have an impact in some small way.

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
At the moment, loads of technology as I have updated my computer system. I’d have my NUC computer and backup system (no more manual back-ups. Phew!), my Sonos (a speaker that plays my music via wifi.), a router, a scented candle – my current favourite is vanilla. And pens and notebooks. I know that’s more than five, so let’s say stationery. Oh, and if we’re having perfect writing spaces, an uninterrupted view of the ocean.

8. Grab the nearest book, open it to page 22 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)
Were you hoping for a more interesting word than were?
(I had Davina Bell’s The End of the World Is Bigger than Love on my desk as I am editing my interview with her for Portable Magic. The book is completely fantastic.)

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I would ask George R R Martin if he will ever finish the final books in the Songs of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) series. I am desperate!

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
The first. I’d rather give up writing than give up reading. Reading is my escape, delight, release and inspiration. 

Sue Lawson writes fiction and non fiction books for children and young adults. Her books have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Family Therapists Award, the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. Her latest young adult novel Freedom Ride was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards and longlisted for the Davitt Awards. For more information, see www.suelawson.com.au.