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

Tuesday 26 January 2021

10 Quirky Questions with author/illustrator Briony Stewart

1. What's your hidden talent?
Crafting. I’m a mean crafter. I can make just about anything out of a bit of paper, yarn and glue. Throw in some wire, a glue gun and the contents of that draw you hide all your junk in, and I’ll build you your Pinterest dream castle!

2. Who is your favorite literary villain and why?
Scarface Claw. That page where he hisses at Hairy Maclary is terrifying. But I also have a soft spot for mean, angry looking cats.

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Ew, well not the dead ones! Haha! Perhaps, Julia Donaldson, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness, AJ Betts and Anita Heiss – I think that’d be a good, fun mixture of entertaining and illuminating. (And okay, as long as the dead ones aren’t 'undead': Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen, May Gibbs and Maurice Sendak).

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
The ‘Scourgify’ spell from Harry Potter – and other cleaning spells. And of course, wands. And wand magic. Just something that makes my house clean with zero effort, okay?

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Quiet, giddy, immersive, tinkering, obsessive.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer? 'Author of classics such as…'

7. Picture your favorite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
A nice big desk, a hot cup of tea, a laptop, a sketch book and a mechanical pencil.

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!)
Get back into bed if you want to, if it’s safeness you are after; for every step beyond here has no way back. (Bridge of Clay, by Markus Zusak)

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I’d Ask JK Rowling what she did with the painting I gave her in Cheltenham. Is it hanging in a loo somewhere? Or is it in warehouse full of junk she gets given by fans? Or did she, like, regift it to Stephen Fry or something?

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Strangely, since having children, this feels like it has been the actual question of my life. Turns out I CAN live without reading books, but I absolutely must, must be able to write or I wither and die and turn into dust and blow away into a chasm of cold and unforgiving darkness.

Born in Perth, Briony Stewart is the internationally published author and illustrator of several award-winning books for children. At 17, Briony received a scholarship from the Art Gallery of Western Australia towards studying a double degree in Fine Art and Creative Writing at Curtin University. After graduating, she won a Queenslan-based writing prize. The story soon became her first published book, Kumiko and the Dragon, and went on to win an Aurealis award for children’s short fiction in 2008. In 2012, Briony completed a nine-month creative development fellowship in the UK after being selected by the British Council as one of five young Australian artists excelling in their creative field. Since then, Briony has published numerous successful titles. Most notably, her book Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers won the 2012 Queensland Literary Prize for Children's Fiction. Passionate about fostering creativity in Australian children, Briony now lectures on children's literature at university and conducts talks and workshops with children across Australia. She currently lives and works in Fremantle, writing, illustrating, and creating amidst the chaos of two cheeky toddlers and a silly dog. See www.brionystewart.com for more.