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

Tuesday 8 June 2021

10 Quirky Questions with author/illustrator Ruth Waters

1. What's your hidden talent?
Well, I’ve been sitting here for quite a while trying to work out if I actually have a hidden talent! Whilst doing that, my mind began to wander and 10 minutes went by before I remembered that I’m supposed to be answering this question... So back to this question — my hidden talent would be my ability to daydream. Not often recognised as a talent but for me it helps enormously with my job as an author and illustrator, thinking up stories and characters.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Oh, a great question! So, it’s either Mr and Mrs Twit or The Grand High Witch from The Witches. I vividly remember my dad reading The Twits to me when I was aged 6 or 7 and finding them fantastically revolting. The way Roald Dahl describes the little bits of food Mr Twit has living in his beard is just so disgustingly evocative. That said, I didn’t find them frightening, unlike the wicked Grand High Witch. Even now, I find her absolutely terrifying!

3. You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Ohhh… Has George Clooney ever written a book?! Seriously, I would go for Agatha Christie, CS Lewis, Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens and Philip Pullman.

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Oh the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of course!

5. What are five words that describe your illustrating process?
Handmade, messy, tactile, imaginative, time consuming.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer or illustrator?
She was good at cutting. (I make my illustrations using collage!)

7. Picture your favourite creative space. What are five objects you would find there?
Big window (I like lots of natural light), good chair (I’ve got a sore back), big desk (as a collage artist, I am consistently surrounded by a lot of paper and mess, and can never have a big enough desk to contain it all!), good lamp (I tend to work late into the evening, so a good lamp is essential for when I’m illustrating), good computer with lots of storage space!

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!)
Fur. His fur is black, his stripe is white. So I’ve slightly cheated as the nearest book was one I wrote – Love from Australia!

9. If you could ask one author or illustrator one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
Rather than ask a question, can I just sit quietly in the corner and watch the process of how an the illustrator makes their artwork? I’m a big fan of Britta Teckentrup’s work so I’d love to get an insight into her making process.

10. Which would you rather do: 'Never write or draw another story or never read another book'?
Oh my goodness. You can’t ask me that! That’s almost impossible. I think begrudgingly I have to say never read another book. I just can’t imagine not being able to draw again. It keeps me sane!

Ruth Waters has written and illustrated picture books, including Not So Scary Bear, Not So Quiet Mouse, Not So Busy Bee and Love from Australia. She also illustrated There's a Tiger Out There written by Sophie Masson. Ruth creates her illustrations using collage. Made by hand, she paints, cuts and layers paper to make unique, colourful and fun pictures.  She has been long-listed for the World Illustration Awards 2020 and was short-listed for the World Illustration Awards 2019, Children's Book New Talent category. For more information, see www.ruth-waters.com.