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

Tuesday 19 January 2021

12 Curly Questions with author Amelia Mellor

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
These days my computer is my most valuable tool, but the first time I used a computer, I was so scared that I cried. My teacher had told us that a monster in the ceiling would chomp our legs off if we were naughty, and I was terrified that it would chomp me for pressing the wrong button.

2. What is your nickname?
Mim, because my sister couldn’t say ‘Amelia’ when she was little.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Being forced to play sport on TV, or a weird picture of me becoming a meme.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Colourful worlds, quirky people, emotional rollercoasters, might give you nightmares.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Imaginative, intense, persistent, industrious, open.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I would like to be a gutsy fantasy heroine or a wise mentor, but I am most like the optimistic, dorky, ambitious, slightly oblivious word-nerd Bindi Mackenzie, from Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Betrayal of Bindi Mackenzie. We have similar strengths, flaws, habits and challenges – but I have nicer parents.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I think I could have a lot of fun exploring in 100,000 BCE. Draw a helicopter on a cave wall to mess with archaeologists. Be the first person ever to swim in my favourite waterfall. See all the weird prehistoric animals. Pick up handfuls of gold nuggets before anyone else found them. Best safari ever.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now? }
My 10-year-old self would probably ask if we could read each other’s books! I started writing when I was nine.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
Mother Nature and Father Time – I get my best inspiration from real times, places, events and creatures. As for authors, I couldn’t pick just one!

10. What/who made you start writing?
I decided to be a writer when I was a toddler because I loved being read to so much, but I attempted my first book in Grade 3 to give myself something to do on the school holidays. Since I started working as a teacher, I still do most of my writing on the school holidays.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Shemomedjamo, which means ‘I accidentally ate it all’ in Georgian. It’s fun to say, and it makes me think of feasts and celebrations with my family.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Not only is it full of interesting words, expressions, history and summaries of famous stories, but it’s also very thick, so if I ever got bored with it, I’d have lots of pages to cut up and reassemble into something new.

Amelia Mellor began her writing career as her secondary school’s resident playwright in Year 11. In 2018, she won the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust’s Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship for The Grandest Bookshop in the World. She is an English teacher in regional Victoria. For more information, see www.ameliamellorsfantasticnarratograph.wordpress.com.