What I’m reading right now… Kyoko Church’s Diary of a Library Nerd. And loving it!
My favourite book growing up… Little Women by Louisa M Alcott. It was a Christmas or birthday present and it was the first *real* book I ever remember getting. It seemed very grown up at the time. No pictures! (NB: Kyoko Church’s book has pictures, and um, that’s definitely grown up too!)
My all time favourite book is… Tom Sharpe’s Wilt. Tom Sharpe has the most ridiculous sense of humour. He knows how bureaucracies work, whether they be in police states or UK polytechnics, and most of all, he knows how to make his readers laugh.
The book I would recommend everyone to read… Yeah, Tom Sharpe’s Wilt. If only for the blow up doll. But there’s way, way more to enjoy. Strap yourself in for the ride.
The book I wish I wrote… The Bible. Think of those royalties! No, seriously, I don’t wish, except to write something that resonates with readers. It’s no good if it’s somebody else’s book, because I couldn’t do that again. And any successful book has to be followed up with something even better. Scary!
My guilty reading pleasure is… Reading. It’s strange that someone who loves books has to make reading a guilty pleasure, but it almost is. I won’t read anything similar to what I’m writing, for fear I might inadvertently absorb something and spit it out in my manuscript. I love it when a book is done and I can read, read, read and make a dent on the to be read pile. I’m still hanging out for retirement though, so I can catch up :)
The book on my bookshelf that I have never read… There are too many! I buy so many books and I want to read them all - one day, when I retire...
The book that never should have been turned into a film… Ha. My kids rib me about this, and I know a lot of your readers will disagree, but it’s a bugbear to me. Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper. That lawyer has a dog to look after him when he has a seizure - we never find out why until late - but then he’s driving a car, has a fit and gets cleaned up by a truck (it’s a long time since I read it, so I could be rusty on details). So he has a dog to look after him if he has a fit - what’s the dog supposed to do when he’s driving? Take over the wheel? It blew the book wide open for me that he had a driver’s licence, but still it was a best selling book and a best selling movie. Clearly I am no judge!
My book is… about coming home and finding out that you can go back, even if it hurts a lot. But it’s worth it.
I’ll never forget… the thrill of learning Stone Castles had sold. I’d been on tenterhooks all day waiting for news, but traveling in the afternoon, with my crazy-not-car-friendly dog in the passenger seat beside me. I stopped in a town on the way to check my email and my dog went mental trying to clamber all over me to get out, thinking we had arrived. And while a dog was clambering excitedly all over me, I read the news that Pan Mac was making an offer. Then it was time for me to be excited :)
My favourite place is… Australia. I travel a lot and I love so many of the places I’ve been and write about them in my books, but wherever I’ve been in the world, I get home to Australia and think how lucky we are, that this is our home.
The most dangerous thing I have ever done is… Probably driving a car to pick up the kids from school if you look at the stats. But the most exciting thing I have ever done is parachuting three times on a static line jump from 2000 feet. I am scared of heights. After three jumps, I felt I had given my fear of heights a run for its money and said, enough.
The first time I… jumped from the wing of that tiny plane, I had one thing to do - count - one thousand, two thousand, three thousand. And if the chute hadn’t deployed by then, it was time to go into reserve parachute drill. So I jumped off that wing and saw the plane shoot up in the air (well, it was me shooting down, but it looked like the plane was going up) and I completely forgot to count. There were words going through my mind though - they just had nothing to do with numbers.
I regret… not appreciating much when I was much younger, how fast time slips by.
I remember… the excitement of the first time I sold a book - more than 10 years and 30 books ago. It never gets old.
The one piece of advice I should have listened to but didn’t… This reminds me of that old joke...
“I wish I’d listened to what my mother told me.”
“What did she tell you?”
‘I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”
(Unfortunately it’s so true)
I love… Carlton Football Club. I love it more when they’re winning, but they will again and meanwhile, their roster gives me heaps of inspiration for the names of my heroes.
I hate… Collingwood. (Of course :-)) That’s okay. They have heaps of fans who love them. We can’t all follow the one team, that would be dull.
I wish… Ha. I used to say this so much as a kid, and then one year we had an exchange student from South Africa, and she took me to task on it - gently - but she said, be grateful for what you have, and for what you don’t, don’t wish, but do something about it if it is that important to you.
I can’t say no to… good chocolate. Haighs especially.
Yesterday, I… sorted out the order of the scenes in my latest ms and worked out I might actually make deadline, made chicken kiev and salad for dinner and watched a beautiful sunset with my family. Life is good.