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

Tuesday 2 February 2021

12 Curly Questions with author Jevita Nilson

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
Normally I am quite a reserved person, until someone breaks out the boardgames, then I morph into this overly enthusiastic, ultra-competitive monster. No one in my family wants to play charades with me anymore.

2. What is your nickname?
When I was younger, some people would call me ‘Jev’, but I don’t get that much anymore. My husband and his family call me ‘J’. Having an unusual name, people call me all sorts of things — Jacinta, Yevita, Javinta, Guanita, Jebita. If someone gets my name right, it’s a good day!

3. What is your greatest fear?
If we’re talking on a deep level, then my greatest fear would be losing the people I love. If we’re talking more about phobias, then I would have to say enclosed spaces. I watched a TV show recently where the main character was buried alive, I almost hyperventilated!

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Whimsical, emotive, imaginative, sensory, inspiring, with a sprinkle of joy.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Dedicated, thoughtful, authentic, curious, grateful.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
The snail from The Snail and the Whale. I can empathise with her feelings of inferiority and her longing for adventure. Wouldn’t we all like to hitch a ride on the tail of a great big grey-blue humpback whale right about now?

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Probably around about 1993 – when we would go on family holidays down south. Such simple times, but these are some of my happiest childhood memories. Van Morrison playing on the stereo, the smell of barbecues cooking in the balmy evenings, the excitement of being the first to the playground each morning. Pure joy!

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Mum would be so proud of you!

9. Who is your greatest influence?
That’s an easy one — my mum. She is a positive influence in all aspects of my life. Whenever I doubted myself, she always believed in me, and she encouraged me to keep going when I wanted to give up. Books were a central part of our childhood and I loved listening to my mum read stories and poetry in her eloquent teacher’s voice. She had a beautiful way with words, and I think she could have been an exceptional writer.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I have always loved writing. When I was young, I enjoyed writing poems and songs. But I had this ingrained belief that I wasn’t a creative person, so I never even thought to pursue a creative endeavour. In 2018, after the death of my mum, writing helped me grieve. This is when I wrote my first picture book, Happy Hearts. Creating this book helped me believe in myself as a writer and trust in my innate creativity.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I’m a mother of two children under six, so my favourite word is ‘bedtime’! Literally.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
That’s a tough one, but it would have to be The End of the World is Bigger Than Love by Davina Bell. I read this beautiful book a few months ago and it still consumes me. If this were the only book left on earth, my heart would be happy.

Jevita Nilson is a children’s author from Perth, Western Australia. She writes meaningful and uplifting stories for young children and is passionate about creating books that inspire readers to discover their imagination and creativity. Jevita is a busy mum of two young children and a cheeky labrador. When she's not writing children's books, Jevita works as an Organisational Development Consultant. Her debut picture book is Happy Hearts, published by New Holland Publishers. For more information, see www.jevitanilson.com.