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

Tuesday 9 March 2021

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Jess McGeachin

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I’m actually quite a nervous flyer, which is ironic given my debut book was called Fly. My protagonist Lucy is much braver than I am!

2. What is your nickname?
Instead of shortening my name most people make it longer! I’m just a ‘Jess’ but I get Jesse a lot.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Right now it’s the impact humans are having on the planet. I’m always optimistic about nature’s ability to adapt but we’ve got a lot of work to do in a very short time.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
I like finding hidden worlds just outside our own.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Playful, passionate, lyrical, character-driven, curious.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I’m a big fan of Paddington — duffle coats and marmalade sound like a pretty good life to me.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’ve been drawing a lot of dinosaurs lately and it would be really handy to have a living reference, so somewhere in the Jurassic period.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
I think my 10-year old self would be pretty chuffed that I make a living drawing pictures. He’d also be happy to know that I still dabble in the occasional Lego set.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My family and especially my mum. She’s a scientific illustrator and has always encouraged me to draw and find inspiration in the natural world.

10. What/who made you start writing?
Drawing has always come more naturally to me than writing, but lately I’ve realised the skills are not that different. Writing is a lot like drawing except instead of shapes and lines you’re using words.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I quite like the word ‘coffee’.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m going to cheat and say my sketchbook, because I can keep adding to it.

Jess is an author/illustrator based in Melbourne. Constantly inspired by the natural world, Jess draws quite literally from a day-job at the Melbourne Museum. His debut picture book, Fly, was published by Puffin in 2019 and was shortlisted for the CBCA and Queensland Literary Awards. For more information, see www.drawthemoon.com.