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

Tuesday 29 March 2022

12 Curly Questions with author Victoria Mackinlay

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I learnt how to solve a Rubik’s Cube in lockdown. It is so satisfying!

2. What is your nickname?
I’ve never had one, but my first driving licence came with a typo so I was ‘VicRoria’ until it was reprinted.

3. What is your greatest fear?
My imagination is wicked and I can conjure some pretty horrible scenarios … being trapped in a tunnel filling up with water is one of them.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Loves to play with language and tell rich, vivid stories.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Articulate, concise, engaging, heartfelt, playful.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Pippi Longstocking. She has unbridled positivity and a strong moral compass. She is courageous and strong enough to pick up a horse!

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I am fascinated by the Tudors and would love to sit and witness the court of Henry VIII, so I’ll say 1522 when Anne Boleyn first came onto the scene. To study the dynamic between courtiers and schemers around the fiery king and observe who triumphed and who failed and why would be fascinating.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
I wish I’d known that everything would work out better than expected and I needn’t have worried about everything.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
Roald Dahl. I loved his books and poems as a child and I fell in love all over again reading them to my daughter. He has a magical way with language and a playful, child-centric sense of humour. He is not afraid to call out bad behaviour and serve baddies with their comeuppance, which is very satisfying.

10. What/who made you start writing?
Me! I picked up a pencil when I was three years old and started copying the text on the cereal boxes at the kitchen table. I taught myself to write and was writing stories before I started school. My parents had no idea how I did it.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I have three: nincompoop, scallywag, whippersnapper. They can all be used to describe a kid with that wonderful cheekiness and mischievousness that is unique to childhood. Bonus — the phonetic structure of each word makes them sound really funny.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s curly indeed! A book of poetry would be great, but I’m going to say Pride and Prejudice. It was one of my first loves, takes me back to my maternal home in the British countryside, and has a happy ending. Pure comfort reading. 

Winner of the 2020 State Library NSW Award for Emerging Children's Author, Victoria Mackinlay’s books include Ribbit Rabbit Robot, The Bark Book and The Lion Who Came to Stay. Coffee connoisseur and language lover, Victoria is a direct descendant of King George III (the one who went mad!). For more information, see www.victoriamackinlay.com.