1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I have a webbed toe, but I think it actually impairs my swimming ability instead of helping (based on results).
3. What is your greatest fear?
When I was 10, my family recreated Alison Lester’s Are We There Yet? and travelled around Australia in a caravan. I developed a (very rational) fear of crocodiles. They are the contemporary dinosaur; you cannot convince me otherwise.
4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Trying to make a difference, everyone should have a dog.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Enthusiastic, empathetic, aware, honest, loving.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Somewhere between Hermione Granger and Pippi Longstocking. They were my role models growing up. They are brave, strong, independent and kind. All the things I hope to be.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
1984, just for the music.
8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Of course you can change the world. It is really not that hard.
9. Who is your greatest influence?
My spectacular, kind, brilliant and slightly crazy mum. She has taught me to believe in myself, given me endless and wonderful support and is truly the sort of woman I hope to become myself one day.
10. What/who made you start writing?
My gorgeous dog, Saffy, who inspired Cookie. He made me smile when it was really hard to do and made me laugh when no one else could. He gives me so much joy and made me want to share it with everyone else. He also gives the best hugs.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Puppies. Likely to make pretty much everyone smile.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pride and Prejudice, my favourite book for sure. It is intelligent, funny and beautifully written, with so many fabulous details I don’t think you could ever get bored. Apparently when my great-grandmother got to 97 she stopped reading anything else and read Pride and Prejudice on repeat for five years. I am considering a similar tactic.
Isabelle Duff wrote Cookie when she was 18, inspired by her border collie, Saffy, and her experiences with anxiety and depression. Isabelle is now 20 and studies Advanced Science and Commerce at UNSW in Sydney. For more information, see www.isabelleduff.com.
February 7, 2022 at 11:33PM Penny Harrison