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

Tuesday 24 October 2023

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Peter Cheong

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
When I was very little in school, to go to the toilet you had to have a ‘buddy’ to walk with you to and from the toilet. I was chosen as a buddy for another kid, walked her to the toilet and waited outside for maybe 30 minutes. I finally came back to class by myself and discovered she had been back for ages. I was convinced for the longest time she could teleport. She probably still can actually.

2. What is your nickname?
Bababababa. My son is nine months old.

3. What is your greatest fear?
When the nappy leaks.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Chaotically, with a lot of Nutella, tea and hot showers.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Sometimes it’s actually all right.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Because he has access to Wonka-Vites and Vita-Wonks, so everyone could live forever. Also he has a chocolate factory.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
The future! A thousand or ten thousand years. I’d love to see the technology.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined. No, not really. He’d actually be pretty stoked that he would get to make books for a living. He wouldn’t say anything though, he’d be too shy.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
There are so many artists I’m influenced by, but Bill Watterson would be the biggest one. Calvin and Hobbes is just too good.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I’ve always loved creating characters and stories. But I had been focusing on illustration as a career and thought I was not good enough as a writer yet. But after seeing my portfolio, an editor said they’d love to see any of my own stories I had been working on. And I realised that, much like with illustration, I would just have to go for it and learn as I go. So I did.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I’ve never thought about it. Probably ‘actually’ actually. It feels and tastes delicious.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Is this hell? Why can I only read one book? What have I done to deserve this? Can I have my Kindle? Is there a chance of parole? I’m imagining a prison where inmates are given one single picture book and told to read it out loud over and over again. When they ask why, they are told, ‘this is your life now’. Wait. Will this be my life when my son can choose his own bedtime story? Oh no. Oh dear.

Peter Cheong lives in Perth with his very understanding wife and less understanding cat. He is the illustrator of I’m a Hero Too and the Pow Pow Pig series. Every Night at Midnight is his first book as both author and illustrator. Peter unfortunately cannot turn into a wolf himself but is still trying. For more information, see www.petercheong.com.