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

Tuesday 21 March 2023

12 Curly Questions with author Barbie Robinson

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I hate walking into a room full of people.

2. What is your nickname?
I’m just always called Barbie or Barb (or Mum or Grandma).

3. What is your greatest fear?
I have bundles of them but probably loss of loved ones is the greatest.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Accessible but with a deep respect for rich English vocabulary.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Persistent, meticulous, bibliophilic, prolific, reflective.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Gosh that’s hard but probably Phryne Fisher because of her courage, sense of fun and her wardrobe.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
1920-something. I’ve always liked periods of transition and change; revolution in social thought. I also like the frocks and hats.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Has all that tree climbing paid off? Do you still like dolls?

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My parents and my husband.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I grew up in a reading household and both my brother and I wrote as a matter of course from a very young age. Separately and together, we created and wrote stories and drew pictures in exercise books. It was something to do with an English childhood and then being migrants, I suspect, and then moving around quite a lot as children.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Who can have a favourite word when English is such a beautiful and complex language? When I was an Indonesian teacher, I loved the word cenderawasih because of its lilting sound. It means Bird of Paradise.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Delia Falconer – The Service of Clouds. Exquisite. But please don’t make me choose just one.

Barbie Robinson is co-Principal of arts media not-for-profit website, podcast platform and internet radio station Living Arts Canberra. She is a Canberra-based arts journalist, arts advocate, photographer and designer. She is the author of eight books and contributor/designer to a group publication entitled between the lines. For more information, see www.livingartscanberra.com.au.