1. What’s your hidden talent?
People have told me they think I’m pretty organised, but that could be because they have young kids while mine is now an elusive teen.
2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
I think Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter books is a wonderful villain. She has an intriguing combination of appearing innocuous while being filled with malice. She makes my skin crawl.
3. You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Hmm. Imagine this fun table: Jackie French, Lynley Dodd, Jane Simmons, Debbie Ridpath Ohi and Mac Barnett.
4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
That would have to be the Magic Faraway Tree.
5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Laborious, pensive, imaginative, eclectic, curious.
6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
She helped me appreciate nature.
7. Picture your favourite creative space. What are five objects you would find there?
A window looking out to nature, a computer, a cup of coffee, inspiring art on the wall, a comfy place to sit.
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!)
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. Shall we work together to take care of this world; the only one we have?
9. If you could ask one author or illustrator one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I’d ask Kwame Alexander how many drafts he wrote to make The Undefeated such a simple yet utterly powerful text.
10. Which would you rather do: ‘Never write another story or never read another book’?
What an impossible question. You’re just messing with me, right?
Julie Murphy trained as a zoologist and zookeeper, and has been a children’s book author for over 20 years. She hopes her books will inspire young readers to be curious about nature, and to go out and experience nature for themselves – even a park or back yard will do! Ideally, kids will also be encouraged to become lifelong readers and conservation stewards like Julie. She has 19 picture books and information books, through trade and education publishers, in Australia and the USA. For more information, see www.juliemurphybooks.com.
December 20, 2021 at 11:34PM Penny Harrison