12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Heidi Cooper Smith

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I can throw a pot (on a pottery wheel, not across a room) in under 30 seconds with my eyes closed.

2. What is your nickname?
I swear, I don’t have one – isn’t that incredibly sad?

3. What is your greatest fear?
Accidentally forgetting to wear clothes… I assume so anyway, as I’ve had that nightmare for as long as I can remember!

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Whimsical, succinct and verb-heavy, with a tendency toward the absurd.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Passionate, sporadic, image-driven, changeable and hopeful.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
These questions really are curly! I’d quite like to be Alexander in Too Many Ducks to be honest. I’d love for my biggest problem in life to be a big flock of friendly ducks following me around.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Around 2030, to see if I can lay my hands on an enormous iPad to bring back for my illustration work. While I’m there I’ll check to see if my kids survive their teenage years.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Why on earth did you wait 25 years to pursue your dream as a picture book creator?

9. Who is your greatest influence?
My author-illustrator friend, Suzy Houghton. We chat every day and send each other stories and sketches/illustrations for feedback. Having someone like that in this industry, who you trust and admire, is an absolute godsend.

10. What/who made you start writing?
When I started creating illustrations for Tania’s 52 Week Illustration Challenge, there was usually a story behind each one. I felt compelled to go ahead and tell those stories!

11. What is your favourite word and why?
Epiphany – it’s just such a lovely concept.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I had to pick one that I’ve read more recently, I’d say either Small Spaces or Deep Water by Sarah Epstein. She’s utterly brilliant and I can’t get enough of her writing.

In 2014, Heidi Cooper Smith found herself with three kids under four and joined an online illustration challenge during naptime to stay sane. Six months later, she was offered her first contract and began writing shortly after. Her illustrations incorporate watercolour and digital techniques and she writes in both prose and rhyme. For more information, see www.heidicoopersmith.com.

June 22, 2021 at 12:34PM Penny