Posted in info

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 info

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 … )

Posted in info

Three Quick Questions: Katrina Germein (#11)

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 Katrina Germein, author of Big Rain Coming and My Dad Thinks He’s Funny.

"Big Rain Coming"  "My Dad Thinks He's Funny"

 

1. Where do you like to write?

I’m not picky. I’ll draft anywhere—on a bus, in a park, beside the sea. I love notebooks with fancy covers and keep a store in my car and my handbag for when I find a few minutes to scribble ideas. When it comes to sustained writing and editing I like to work at a desk with my computer. It doesn’t need to be my desk and it doesn’t need to be very big but it needs to be in a quiet place. I’m not one of those authors who can work with music playing.

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

George and Ghost by Catriona Hoy and Cassia Thomas. It’s beautiful. I love all of Catriona Hoy’s picture books. I’d love to have written them myself!

"George and Ghost"
Katrina recommends George and Ghost by Catriona Hoy, ill. Cassia Thomas

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

Katrina Germein
Katrina Germein

‘I was the only one with a key.’

Find out more about Katrina Germein and her books—visit her website and her blog.

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

(Psst … see you back here on Monday, when we’ll have the first of our birthday giveaways!)

Posted in info

Three Quick Questions: Aleesah Darlison (#10)

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 Aleesah Darlison, author of many books including the Totally Twins series and new series, Unicorn Riders.

Totally Twins (cover)Unicorn Riders (book 1 cover)

1. Where do you like to write?

I usually write in my study where it’s quiet and cosy and where I can display photos, posters and props, etc about what I’m writing about.

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

A book I read recently—The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. Very funny.

The 13-storey Treehouse (cover)
Aleesah recommends The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

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

Magic.

Find out more about Aleesah Darlison and her books—visit her website.

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

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow, when author Katrina Germein answers our Three Quick Questions.)

Posted in illustrator

Three Quick Questions: Mark Wilson (#7)

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 Mark Wilson, author and illustrator of many books, including Ben and Gracie’s Art Adventure and  The Little Wooden Horse.Ben and Gracie's Art Adventure (cover)

  The Little Wooden Horse (cover)

1. Where do you like to write/do your artwork?

At the beach or around the coast somewhere. I love rock pools and rocky headlands.

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

The Mr. Badger series, by Leigh Hobbs. The most brilliant little pen and ink drawing on page after page!

 

Mr Badger (cover)
Mark Wilson recommends the Mr Badger series by Leigh Hobbs

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

Two words … Stay cool.

Find out more about Mark’s books and illustrations on his website!

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

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow, when author Cristy Burne answers our Three Quick Questions.)