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

Tuesday 18 June 2024

12 Curly Questions with author Nick Long

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
Once, in Mexico, I was served a pizza topped with banana and cherries. I was horrified but ate it anyway because it was still pizza!

2. What is your nickname?
Boringly, it’s ‘Longy’. As a kid I tried hard to be given a cool nickname like ‘Knuckles’ but I could never get one to stick.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Someone tipping a barrel of live eels on to my desk. It sounds unlikely but you never know.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
It’s important to keep a very loose grip on reality.

5.Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
I’m not sure all of these are positives but here goes: Surprising. Fast-paced. Ridiculous. Genre-busting. Heartfelt.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Max from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. A kid who tames huge scary beasts. What’s not to love?

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’d go back to April 2022 before I bought my second-hand boat, Spring Chicken, and ask a lot more questions about its dodgy outboard motor. Questions like: 'Why do I have to turn the key 15 times before it starts?'

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
'I thought we decided we were going to be cool when we grew up?'

9. Who is your greatest influence?
David Attenborough. Mum had him sign a book for me once. I’ve still got it.

10. What/who made you start writing?
When I was 17, I had a summer job scooping ice cream and discovered my wrists were too skinny for such gruelling physical labor. I decided then that writing was more my thing.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Disgruntled. What I like the best about it is, if you take the prefix away, you get gruntled, which doesn’t sound like a word for being contented but it must be, right?

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m a total nerd when it comes to art made by traditional cultures so it would probably be Power and Prestige: The Art of Clubs in Oceania. It has no jokes in it and no plot; just a lot of photos of old wooden war clubs from the Pacific Islands. Like I said, a total nerd. 

In his job as a TV producer, Nick Long has been up close and personal with deadly snakes, ruthless crime lords, unstable Alaskan glaciers and tight deadlines. Can you guess which of these was the scariest? When he’s not avoiding deadlines, Nick lives with his wife and two boys on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where he enjoys inventing excuses for not doing handyman stuff. The Forbidden Journal of Rufus Rumble is his first children’s book. See www.bynicklong.com for more information.