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Three Quick Questions – Sally Murphy #22

All through October, Alphabet Soup has been celebrating turning three. We had lots of writers and illustrators visiting our blog to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS. Today we have our last visitor, Sally Murphy—poet and author. Her books include Pearl Verses the World, Toppling and many more …

"Pearl Verses the World"

toppling (cover)

1. Where do you like to write?

At home—either at my desk or on the kitchen table. My desk has lots of piles of paper—ideas, drafts, books to read, and so on. So sometimes I have to move away from my desk to the kitchen table.

But I can write anywhere.  I carry a notebook in my bag and if I have a few minutes to spare, or if inspiration strikes, or I suddenly know what is going to happen next, I can grab the notebook and start writing.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

Just one? I am happy to say that I read all the time (even more than I write) It is a great way to improve your writing skills, and of course it’s fun, too. One book I read recently that has stayed with me is Angel Creek, by Sally Rippin, about some kids who find an injured angel and decide to keep it.

 

Angel Creek (cover)
Sally Murphy recommends Angel Creek by Sally Rippin

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

Fang.

Find out more about Sally Murphy—visit her official author website, her website for kids and her book review website—Aussie Reviews.

That’s the end of our Three Quick Questions series. In case you missed any, here are links to all our visitors. (Check out your favourite writer or illustrator’s recommended read and writing prompt!)

Oliver Phommavanh

Frane Lessac

Wendy Orr

Susan Stephenson (The Book Chook)

James Foley

Tania McCartney

Mark Wilson

Cristy Burne

Sheryl Gwyther

Aleesah Darlison

Katrina Germein

Rebecca Cool

Sandy Fussell

Frederique from poetry blog, Fred’s Petals

Norman Jorgensen

Jackie Hosking

Claire Saxby

Kathryn Apel
Dee White

Robyn Opie

Janeen Brian

Sally Murphy

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Sally Murphy” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

 

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Three Quick Questions – Janeen Brian #21

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Janeen Brian, poet and author. Her books include Shirl and the Wollomby Show and Columbia Sneezes!, and many more …

Shirl and the Wollomby Show (cover)  Columbia Sneezes (cover)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Where do you like to write?

My favourite place to write is still my office, although I’ve tried many other places. It’s where my brain associates the act of writing best of all. I can jot down ideas or brainstorm while in bed or on a couch, but in my office I can spread work out on a central table or concentrate totally at my computer. My office has all sorts of photos and writing memorabilia in it, so it’s very much my place of enjoyment as well my writing.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

I read children’s and adult’s books all the time, but I’ve just finished re-reading a book by Gary Paulsen, called Hatchet. First printed in 1987, it’s had many reprints and I think it’s a classic. The blurb reads: When a 13 year old city boy crash lands in the Canadian wilderness all he is left with is a hatchet—and the need to survive. From now on he learns everything the hard way …

It’s a wonderful read, gripping, powerful and realistic. I shared it with my grandson, which made it doubly enjoyable.

Hatchet (cover)
Janeen Brian recommends Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

Here’s a command phrase that might kickstart inspiration: ‘Don’t come any closer!’

Find out more about Janeen Brian—visit her blog, and her website.

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Janeen Brian” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)
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Three Quick Questions – Robyn Opie Parnell #20

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Robyn Opie Parnell, author of many books, including the Black Baron seriesand Maya and the Crystal Skull, which will be released in November 2011.

Maya and the Crystal Skull (cover)

1. Where do you like to write?

My favourite place to write is my favourite recliner chair in the lounge room. I usually write in this recliner chair with my feet up and my laptop on my lap. Talk about comfy!

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

In the last week, I’ve read my own book Maya and the Crystal Skull twice to check for mistakes before the book is printed. Amazingly, I still enjoyed the book after reading it twice in one week. Of course this means I haven’t read any other books in this time. Prior to that, I was researching the ancient Maya for a second book in the Maya and the Crystal Skull series. So I’m not much help in the recent reading of a children’s book department. But I can recommend a book I’ve read in the last six months. It’s a young adult book— the first book in the fifth shadow series by Alison Ashley. It was a thoroughly good read.

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

Over the moon.

Find out more about Robyn Opie Parnell—visit her blog, and her website.

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Robyn Opie Parnell” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow when we talk to author and poet Janeen Brian.)

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Three Quick Questions – Dee White #19

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Dee White, author of Hope for Hanna, and YA novel Letters to Leonardo. Dee also runs the Writing Classes for Kids blog.

Hope for Hanna (cover)

1. Where do you like to write?

My favourite place to write is my study or my lounge room, which have amazing views (here’s a pic).

The view from Dee's study
What a view! (© Dee White 2011)

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

A book I’ve read recently that I’d recommend is Head Spinners by Thalia Kalkipsakis.
Head Spinners (cover)
Dee White recommends Head Spinners by Thalia Kalkipsakis.

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

A word or phrase I would use to kickstart inspiration is, “You wake up in the morning and your cat has brought you breakfast in bed.”

You can find out more about Dee White on her blog, and on her website. And make sure you check out Dee’s Writing Classes for Kids blog, too—there are writing tips, writing tutorials for download, competitions and more …

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Dee White” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow when we talk to author Robyn Opie.)

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Three Quick Questions – Claire Saxby #17

Claire Saxby
Claire Saxby

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Claire Saxby, author of Sheep, Goat and the Creaking Gate, There was an Old Sailor, The Carrum Sailing Club, and many more fiction and nonfiction books.

 

Sheep, Goat and the Creaking GateThe Carrum Sailing Club (cover)

 

1. Where do you like to write?

My favourite place to write was in the library, until they knocked it down to build another one. I can’t wait until the new one is opened in September NEXT year. I also like writing in cafes. Somehow the noise at a cafe isn’t at all distracting whereas the silence and call of all the housework is very distracting at home.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

Surface Tension by Meg McKinlay was a great read about a girl who was born the day they flooded her town. Everyone else talks about ‘before’ and ‘after’ and she feels like the only one with no knowledge of ‘before’. After years of drought, the old town is becoming visible and bringing with it secrets. This is a wonderful story about friendship, and finding where you belong.

Surface Tension (cover)
Claire Saxby recommends Surface Tension by Meg McKinlay

 

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

I didn’t do it!

You can find out more about Claire Saxby on her blog Let’s Have Words, and see an interview about a picture book’s journey.

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Claire Saxby” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow when we talk to author Kathryn Apel.)

Posted in poetry

Three Quick Questions: Jackie Hosking #16

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is poet Jackie Hosking. You might have seen some of her poems in The School Magazine, The Scrumbler and in Alphabet Soup! You’ll also find her writing in the anthology Short and Scary.

Alphabet Soup issue 5 cover"Short and scary (cover)"

 

1. Where do you like to write?

I love to write in bed with a nice cup of tea.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

Anything by Lorraine Marwood. A Ute Picnic is brilliant and I’m about to read Note on the Door. Her poetry is so accessible and beautiful to read.

A Ute Picnic
Jackie recommends A Ute Picnic by Lorraine Marwood
note on the door (cover)
Jackie also recommends Note on the Door by Lorraine Marwood

 

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

One of my favourite unblockers is the phrase ‘Once upon a time … ‘ It seems to unlock the door to possibilities. So if you’re stuck, just write Once upon a time … and see what happens.

You can find out more about Jackie Hosking in an earlier interview (or keep an eye out for our November issue which will include one of Jackie’s poems).

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Jackie Hosking” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … don’t forget to enter our birthday giveaways—entries close at midnight tonight, Perth time )

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Three Quick Questions: Norman Jorgensen #15

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Norman Jorgensen, author of The Last Viking and In Flanders Fields (and many other books, too!)

"The Last Viking (cover)"

1. Where do you like to write?

Down in my back garden, beyond where the pirates, kid-eating dinosaurs, scary monsters and teenage vampires all lurk, I have a studio surrounded by huge trees. The walls are painted bright red and on the wall behind my computer I have prints of old square-rigged sailing ships.  I also have a model of a WW I fighter hanging from the ceiling, and piles and piles of books.  It’s a bit of a Boy’s Own paradise, I’m afraid. It is not as tidy as a ten-year old’s bedroom, but at least a million times worse.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow–a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man, his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulder of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white. I remember him looking round the cover and whistling to himself as he did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards: “Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest—Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!” in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have been tuned and broken at the capstan bars.

It starts like this and just gets better and better. It is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, of course, first published in 1883, and I re-read it every few years, mostly to remind myself why I want to be a writer. All pirate books and movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean, have been inspired by this one book, and it is the perfect read for a dark and stormy story night while huddled up under the covers with a torch.

Treasure Island (cover)
Norman Jorgensen recommends Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

Then what happened?

or

What is the worst thing that could happen next?

Find out more about Norman Jorgensen and his books on his website and check out The Last Viking blog.

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Norman Jorgensen” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow, when we’ll hear from poet Jackie Hosking! And don’t forget to enter our birthday giveaways … )