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

Tuesday 20 April 2021

10 Quirky Questions with author/illustrator Anna Walker

1. What's your hidden talent?
Zoning out. Some may say I am not responding! But I like to see it as concentrating on thoughts.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Count Olaf is so sneaky! There is something about him that reminds me of pantomimes as a child when you feel like calling out, ‘look out behind you'!

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
I am bending the rules, and inviting characters rather than authors. The five would be: the Grasshopper from James and the Giant Peach, Mrs Tiggy Winkle, the Velveteen Rabbit, the gentle Dragon from a book I read as a child that lived in a cave and enjoyed apple buns and Mole from Wind in the Willows. They are all quiet but so interesting and delightful. I would love to hear their thoughts!

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
The Necklace of Raindrops — in the story written by Joan Aiken

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Watching, thinking, gathering, daydreaming, sewing, exploring.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
Thoughtful... Being an illustrator I think in pictures, so I would like to be remembered by Peggy, Mr Huff, a child finding joy, a duck and a smudgy frog in the rain.

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
A jumping spider, a tiny seal made of wood, a lamp, the cat and my visual diary.

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!)
The End of The World is Bigger than Love by Davina Bell. On a quiet night I listen to the sky.

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I have many questions for the poet Emily Dickinson. I recently wondered what experience inspired her to write:

“I stepped from plank to plank
So slow and cautiously;
The stars about my head I felt,
About my feet the sea

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch —
This gave that precarious gait
Some call experience.”

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Ah, that is a TOUGH question. At this stage, I would rather be able to keep creating stories if I had to choose!

Anna Walker writes and illustrates children's books and is based in Melbourne. Crafted with pencil, ink and collage, Anna's illustrations are inspired by the everyday details of life and the amusing antics of her menagerie. Anna's picture book, Mr Huff, which she wrote and illustrated, won the 2016 CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood and was shortlisted in the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Together with Jane Godwin, Anna has also created many beautiful picture books, most recently Go Go and the Silver Shoes. Anna's most recent picture books as author/illustrator are the highly acclaimed Florette, the delightful Lottie and Walter and the tender and touching Hello Jimmy! For more information, see www.annawalker.com.au.