1. What’s your hidden talent?
Persistence. If at first a story doesn’t work, I’ll try and try and try for as many times as it takes to get it working. And if it still doesn’t work then I’ll take a break before coming back to try and try and try again.
2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Captain Ahab from Moby Dick. His monomaniacal pursuit of the Great White Whale leads to one of the most dramatic and memorable demises in all literature. He finally succeeds in harpooning the whale but the line catches around his neck and he is pulled overboard, ‘smiting the sea, disappearing in its depths’.
3. You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Enid Blyton, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, Dr Seuss and Franz Kafka. They’re all dead so I won’t need to prepare an elaborate meal.
4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
The Wishing Chair from Enid Blyton’s book of the same name. It’s an old-fashioned chair and when you sit in it, if it’s in the mood, it grows a little wing at the bottom of each of its legs and flies you out of the window and takes you on an unpredictably exciting and dangerous adventure.
5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Fast, slow, intuitive, joyful, endless.
6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
Funny, surprising, imaginative, surreal, inspiring.
7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
My first typewriter (a 1920s Underwood), cheap exercise book, a Pentel Uniball metal tip 0.7mm pen, CD player and a window.
8. Grab the nearest book, open it to page 22 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)
My sentence: ‘Alliteration is the conspicuous repetition of the same sounds at the beginning or within a group of words and is one of my super-favourite tricks for composing sensational sounding sentences!’
(‘Alliteration’ from The Poet’s Manual and Rhyming Dictionary)
9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
Excuse me Mother Goose, given that he was an egg with an easily breakable shell, why was Humpty sitting on a wall in the first place?
10. Which would you rather do: ‘Never write another story or never read another book’?
Never write another story: I couldn’t live — or write — without having access to the wealth of wonderful stories that are already written.
Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors. He and illustrator Terry Denton have collaborated on more than 30 bestselling books since their first title, Just Tricking, was published in 1997. In Australia, Andy and Terry’s books have sold over 10 million copies, won 80 children’s choice awards and 10 Australian Book Industry Awards-including Book of the Year for The 52-Storey Treehouse in 2015.
Their much-loved Treehouse Series has been embraced by children around the world and is now published in more than 35 countries. Five of the books in the series have been adapted for the stage and have all had sell-out seasons at the Sydney Opera house, as well as highly successful seasons in the Netherlands, New Zealand and America.
Andy is a passionate advocate for literacy and in 2015 was awarded the Dromkeen Medal to honour his outstanding contribution to Australian children’s literature. He is also an ambassador for both The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Pyjama Foundation.
April 5, 2022 at 12:35AM Penny Harrison