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

Tuesday 6 April 2021

10 Quirky Questions with Dimity Powell

1. What's your hidden talent?
I used to be a masterful nautical navigator, maneuvering sailboats up and down the rivers of the English Channel and once across the Atlantic and through the BVIs. Exacting, thrilling, challenging stuff but that was long ago. Now I find it hard just navigating my way through interviews like these. I can’t believe we give these questions to authors; they are so hard!

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Severus Snape from Harry Potter; he’s portrayed as a villain when really he’s the penultimate guardian angel, victim of unrequited love, master of subterfuge and pretty good at mixing potions. I love a good conflicted, slightly sinister underdog.

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Yann Martel, Amor Towles, W Bruce Cameron, Garth Stein. I think this combo would stimulate a lot of intelligent, emotive and dog-orientated conversation, which might be interesting (especially as Laura is dead) and divert attention from any incidental culinary cockups. What does one cook for a ghost anyway?

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Hermione Granger's time turner necklace. I find myself wanting a device like this nearly every second of the day so I could be in two places at once and never miss out on events! This supposedly ages the user though and there’s enough of that happening to me as it is so perhaps Willy Wonker’s Chocolate Factory is a better option! Can you imagine? I’d settle for a working wand though. Nothing fancy just your average model would do nicely, you know, for illuminating dark places when my mobile battery is flat.

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Spasmodic, heartfelt, unfettered, organic, imprecise

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
I’d love to actually just be remembered although if there was a speech or something involved, I’d be happy to hear these adjectives: generous, committed, zealous, genuine, gracious.

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
Books! Stuffies; toy characters like Pippa and Uni from my books plus a zoo-full of others. A window with a view; my current writing space is a windowless nook, cosy but hot and cold by degrees and far from nature. A mug of sweet milky coffee to stymie the urge to eat (chocolate) constantly. Picture book posters on the wall. A framed illustration of Stillwater from Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth inspires and protects my soul.

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!)
‘They’re’ swimming upside down in a soup of wild hopes and missed opportunities. Bubbles hated her new tank and everyone in it, especially now she was blind.

Taken from Penguin Bloom the young readers’ film adaptation.

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
If you could re-live your childhood, would you and why or why not? Which I think would lead to some pretty revealing discussions about what they loved or hated most about it and what they might change. At least I hope it would! It’s the type of question I want to ask everyone including myself but I’d love to natter about this with Bob Graham.

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story or never read another book'?
Never write another story. Although I think that would be difficult to suppress and tales might eventually subvert diary entries and shopping lists. But to never ever read another book? Inconceivable. Reading is without question my favourite thing to do, almost better than breathing. Period. 

Dimity’s latest picture book, Oswald Messweather (March 2021) addresses the debilitating condition of OCD. Mess and disorder upset Oswald. Even the complexity of his own name is enough to set Oswald’s legs jiggling and his palms itching with anxiety. To combat his unease, Oswald obsessively counts his crayons. It is a compulsion he finds comforting but also extremely exhausting. Oswald’s story is about recognising the small things, letting go and forging forward.

For those lucky enough to live in SE QLD or are visiting over Easter, Dimity will be launching Oswald Messweather at The Mad Hatter’s Bookshop, Saturday 10 April 2021 at 10.30 am. Book online to join in the fun.

Dimity Powell loves filling every spare moment with words. She’s the Managing Editor for Kids' Book Review and writes and reviews exclusively for children with over 30 published stories, including Oswald Messweather (2021), Pippa (2019), the SCBWI Crystal Kite 2019 Award winner, At The End of Holyrood Lane (2018) and the critically acclaimed, The Fix-It Man (2017). She is also a Books in Homes Role Model, an accredited Write Like an Author facilitator and an online and in-school presenter for G.A.T.E.WAYS Education. Dimity lives on the Gold Coast where dreams sparkle and superheroes surf. Discover more at www.dimitypowell.com.