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

Tuesday 4 June 2024

12 Curly Questions with author Bec Nanayakkara

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I once ran 7kms. It was by accident. I was aiming for 4kms and then took a wrong turn. To this day, it is my greatest physical achievement (besides having babies) and a good lesson that getting lost isn’t always the worst thing.

2. What is your nickname?
Bec. Which makes sense because my real name is Rebecca, but I’m not sure it counts as a nickname since it’s the only name I go by.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Tight car parks. And all other moderately difficult driving scenarios.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Quiet, kind, cheerful, sometimes tear-inducing and (I hope) always uplifting.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hopeful. Fearful. Impatient. Erratic. Determined.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
From my own book, The Book Star, I would be Grace. She’s quiet and shy but when faced with peer pressure, she stands up for what she believes in and absolutely shines. If I could go back and be eight years old again, I would love to be as cool as Grace.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’ve been reading up on Banjo Paterson and the year 1895, trying to uncover the story behind Waltzing Matilda for a new picture book (it will be out with Woodslane Press next year!). It was a fascinating time and it would be amazing to experience it in real life.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
‘It will be okay.’

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My husband. He’s so supportive of all that I do, even my writing. And his go-getter attitude is very inspiring.

10. What/who made you start writing?
When I was working in education, one of my key roles was to design learning resources to teach wellbeing. For these resources, I began writing stories, which turned out to be great teaching tools. I enjoyed writing them so much that once I was on maternity leave I started writing my own stories, just to fill the void. I happened to come across the Australian Writers' Centre course on writing picture books and knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Genuinely. I love truth, honesty and not having to read between the lines. When I hear the word genuine, I immediately feel calm.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m not sure, but it would definitely be a picture book. Maybe Waddle Giggle Gargle by Pamela Allen, because I’ve read it nearly every day for the last six years (across a span of four children) and I still love it.

Bec Nanayakkara is a homeschooling mum of five, living in the New England region of NSW. She is also a children’s author with a background in wellbeing-based education. Her first two picture books Grow Big, Little Seed (Hardie Grant) and The Book Star (Affirm Press) are out this year.