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

Tuesday 1 February 2022

12 Curly Questions with author Amie Kaufman

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I took my very first steps on a boat, and I could walk on a deck before I could walk on land. I loved writing about the ships Jake and Marisol sail on in The World Between Blinks, including the Ship of the Desert, in book two.

2. What is your nickname?
My friends mostly just call me Aims, but one of my favourite teachers used to call me Aimless, because I was always staring off into space. I was daydreaming about stories!

3. What is your greatest fear?
I think it must be all my teeth falling out, because I have nightmares about that more than anything else. It feels like a problem I could solve if it ever really happened in real life, but in the dreams it’s terrible.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Funny, heartfelt adventures about family – born and chosen.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hardworking, generous, loves a cliffhanger.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I would be the Very Hungry Caterpillar, because I love snacks, and all that caterpillar does in life is snack, snack and snack.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
This is one of my greatest dreams, and choosing just one year feels impossible! But in The World Between Blinks, Jake and Marisol encounter all kinds of lost things, people and places from our own world, and one that truly intrigued me was the Great Library of Alexandria, which held books and texts from all over the world. I’d love to hop back a couple of thousand years to see it.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
She’d be amazed I was a writer – she didn’t know that was an option. Then she’d probably want to meet my dog, Jack. He’s part dingo, and she’d love him.

9. Who is your greatest influence? 
Arthur Ransome. He wrote a series called Swallows and Amazons that I read over and over growing up – it’s about a group of kids who are on holiday in the Lakes District in England, and imagine themselves as pirates and explorers, creating whole worlds out of their imaginations. I still love re-reading those books, and as a kid I spent so much time creating maps of where I lived, just like they did. Those books taught me about the power of my imagination, and changed everything for me. It taught me I could make my own magic, without waiting for some to come along.

10. What/who made you start writing?
My first recorded storytelling incident was in Grade 2, when I told Magic Faraway Tree stories to all my friends, claiming that the big gum tree in our playground was the Faraway Tree itself. I suppose I’ve always loved the idea of escaping to other worlds.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Fiasco! It means a disastrous situation that has gotten so out of control that it’s starting to become funny. I love fiascos, and it’s such a fun word to say out loud.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would be The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper – it’s my all-time favourite book, and I read it every year at Christmas. It fills me up with the kind of wonder I need to write, and I can’t imagine not reading it. 

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author/. Her work has taken home multiple Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, a Gold Inky, and been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. The World Between Blinks and its sequel, Rebellion of the Lost, are both out now. For more information, see www.amiekaufman.com.