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

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Announcement: New KBR Team Member: Meet Elizabeth Vercoe!

Elizabeth Vercoe's evocative artwork and previous reviews have enthralled and entertained a wide audience for many years. Witty, articulate and achingly talented, Elizabeth lives life as she loves it: moment by precious moment. 

But can you guess whom she'd love to take to dinner? Read on to find out more about our newest contributor. And keep an eye out for Elizabeth's first review, coming soon.

It's with unbridled joy that we welcome yet another wonderful member to our KBR team. Great to have you aboard, Elizabeth!
1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I have two double-jointed little toes - not on the same foot though. Also a metal rod in my back, which along with my fibula and part of my hip, holds me upright.

2. What is your nickname?
Bella. Beth. Lizzy-girl. Libs. Lergigirdle. Dizzo. Brick (from my grown-up kids - Enid Blyton has a lot to answer for with those storybook mothers who are stoic and provide lashings of ginger beer and chocolate cake). And Betty (my partner thought it hilARious to set up my email ID as Betty, so now in most group messages people wonder who I am. Eye-roll emoji to the max).

3. What is your greatest fear?

As a young adult it was a fear of death, but I’ve ‘worn that t-shirt’ so I’m over it. Nowadays it’s being outed as an imposter – anywhere, at any time.

4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Engaging and thoughtfully hopeful, with a little bit of uplift.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.

Open, curious, disciplined, happy, fun.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
George from the Famous Five. Because I’ve always worn pants – even to my year 12 formal – and I like hugging big dogs. Also, I find it kind of impressive that she was so outwardly non-binary long before the 2021 Bachelorette caught on.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Oh my gosh this is an impossible question. Only one choice? Of course I’d love to travel 50 years into the future and meet my three amazing children. But then, I also want to go back to BC (is that a legitimate time descriptor?) and grab Jesus Christ to bring him home for dinner. Actually that’s a lie – I’d take him to Trippy Taco and see whether he gets hot sauce in his beard. Mostly though, I want to know what his laugh is like. Is it measured, or does it fill up his whole face and crinkle his eyes?

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Who even ARE you?

9. Who is your greatest influence?

There are so many. I guess it’s people who’ve been encouraging and kind because I was excruciatingly shy as a kid. My mother was and remains a wholehearted champion for artistic expression. Phillip Adams answered the letter I wrote him on Raggedy Anne stationery when I was nine. Michael Leunig complimented a tiny series of landscape watercolour paintings when I was 49. So, small acts of generosity and kindness constantly influence my work.

10. What/who made you start writing?
Mrs Booth read my story out to the whole of grade 2/3/4 when I was in grade 2. She said that she liked my opening line: ‘It all started when Jack saw the windmill on the hill.’

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Antidisestablishmentarianism. Because at 28 letters it’s said to be the longest word in the English language. And I can spell it.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh, the places you’ll go’ by Dr Seuss. I can’t count the number of copies that I’ve gifted to friends and family of all ages, who are heading into the unknown. ‘You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Liz’s creative works are a celebration of life. As author and visual artist, she derives great joy from getting stuff out of her head and onto a blank canvas. Liz has a Masters of Creative Writing and worked as a researcher with Unimelb for the past eight years, interviewing vulnerable cohorts including children. Author of book chapters and academic articles, ‘
Mac the Dog Man’ is Liz’s leap into the world of picture books. YA works include ‘Keep Your Hair on!’ and ‘The Grief Book, Strategies for Young People.