Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Australia Africa England Marriage Motherhood Teaching Writing Reading
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Do it now!
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Becoming a widow
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. On the couch at my daughter's house, having one of our rambling, lovely conversations
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Napoleon: I want to conquer the world!
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Nada Vawser, an elderly neighbour
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Divine! Fantastic! Oh, God, that's hysterical!
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Having only one child
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Piano playing
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Writing the best selling picture book ever in Australia
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Being too nice
Q. What’s your best quality?
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. The ruler of the world
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. My spiky red hair
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Atticus in Lee Harper's TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Fagin in Charles Dickens' OLIVER TWIST
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. William Wilberforce, the Englishman who spent most of his life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries working to abolish the slave trade. I'd say: "Congratulations! And thank you, thank you, thank you thank you!"
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Badly brought up, out of control children
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Book shop owner
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Forgiveness, generosity and tolerance
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Penny Lane, Steal Away, Flow Gently Sweet Afton, the African national anthem: Nkosi Si'kelele Afrika, and my own song: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Dickens, Balzac, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, E B White, AS Byatt, Sebastian Faulks and a million others including picture book writers Martin Waddell and Lynley Dodd
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. A Tale of Two Cities Birdsong Possession To Kill a Mocking Bird Pride and Prejudice
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. Where is the Green Sheep?
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Avoid adjectives and adverbs
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. My child (or my class) LOVES your stories