1. What’s your hidden talent?
Hmmm. I don’t know that I have one. Perhaps, though, from all the reading and freelance writing I’ve done, I know a little bit about a lot of subjects. I surprise myself with the trivia questions I can answer sometimes!
2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
This may seem like an odd answer, but I’d have to say Mr and Mrs Twit from one of my favourite childhood books, Roald Dahl’s The Twits. They’re interesting characters, in that they’re the protagonists of the story but also sooo horrible and the villains to each other. That’s an unusual combination!
3. You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Ooh, how to choose?! So many people came to mind, but for a fun mix I’d invite Deborah Harkness, Mac Barnett, Neil Gaiman, Richard Branson, and Roald Dahl. If I was allowed some extra numbers (I realise how male-heavy my list is) I’d love to add Kate DiCamillo, Jane Austen and Agatha Christie.
4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Hermione’s time-turner in Harry Potter or teleportation devices as featured in many different stories.
5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Stop-start explorations into curiosity.
6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
I’m dreaming, here, but I’d love to be a writer remembered as curious, innovative, respected, prolific, and bestselling!
7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
My office is filled to bursting with books and papers, so it’s always cluttered with ‘stuff’. However, as for specific objects, in any work space of mine you’ll always find a laptop, paper, pens/pencils, kitchen timer, and a paperweight a long-term friend gave me years ago.
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!)
The word is ‘warning’, taken from Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. “Warning: may cause sleeplessness and heart palpitations, so please read with caution.”
9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask? Only one?! That’s tough. I’d ask JK Rowling, “How did you come up with all the layered, complex characters in Harry Potter, and keep all their stories straight across the series?”
10. Which would you rather do: ‘Never write another story or never read another book’?
I don’t think I could cope in this world without other people’s amazing stories, so I’d choose never writing another story over never being allowed to read another book.
Kellie Byrnes is a children’s author and full-time freelance writer based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia who loves to travel for author talks and workshops and other events. Kellie’s first picture book, Cloud Conductor, released through Wombat Books in May 2018, and her second, Evie is all Ears, was published in October 2020 by Little Pink Dog Books. One Remarkable Reef, published by the State Library of Queensland, came out in November 2020. In May 2021, Yes! No. picture book was released by Little Pink Dog Books, followed soon after by This is NOT a Book! in June 2021, published by EK Books. Kellie also has another picture book on the way in November 2021, titled How Do We Love?: The Five Ways We Show We Care. It will be published by Macmillan US. Plus, Kellie has a junior fiction novel contracted. For more information, see www.kelliebyrnes.com.
December 6, 2021 at 11:33PM Penny Harrison