Look What I’m Reading! Kesta Fleming

Kesta Fleming is a writer and poet, and author of the Marlow Brown chapter book series for seven-to ten-year-old. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, two teenagers and a Brittany Spaniel, and divides her time between writing for children and her therapeutic work helping people manage stress and anxiety. Her latest book is Marlow Brown: Magician in the Making.

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Call by Peadar O’Guilin.


Can you tell us in two sentences what the book is about?
It’s a YA book about the revenge of the fairy people from Irish folklore who have been banished by humans over a 1000 years ago to a parallel, nightmarish realm. Irish teenagers are snatched in turn for 3 minutes of human time (24 hours in the fairy realm) where they are hunted down and killed unless they can outrun the fairy people.

How much did you enjoy/are enjoying this title?

I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far! It reminds me of The Hunger Games, which interestingly, I didn’t enjoy. (Too much horror and I’m not into horror.) Somehow, being human vs non-human makes the concept and the grimness in The Call more palatable in my eyes. It’s hard to put down.

What made you choose this title? Was it a review, advertising, the cover, the blurb, the author/illustrator, or the subject/genre?
I belong to an excellent book club of children’s authors, librarians and lovers of kid lit and our theme this month was Ireland. So, we’re reading a picture book, a junior fiction and a young adult book by Irish authors. The Call is the YA choice. One of the things I like about this book club is that I get to read books I wouldn’t necessarily pick up myself. This is one of those books.

What other titles are on your bedside table /To Read Pile?
My ‘to read’ pile is a combination of actual piles scattered around the house—like the toppling stack of picture books on the floor in my study—and a virtual stack of books I’ve noted for future reference on Goodreads. It’s also a mix of adult fiction and non-fiction, and children’s. Amongst these piles are The Hug by Eoin McLoughlin and Polly Dunbar, What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford and Raymund and the Fear Monster by Megan Higginson.

How did you come by these titles: personal choice/request, publisher’s review copy, or other?
The Hug is the picture book pick for book club this month – another Irish themed book. What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible is a junior fiction personal choice as I really enjoyed Ross Welford’s Time Travelling with a Hamster, and Raymund and the Fear Monster is a picture book by a fellow writer in an online group I belong to which I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why do you prefer it?
I don’t have a single favourite genre, but I do enjoy fantasy, particularly those books where the characters go between the known and a fantasy world, and those where the two worlds blur in some way. Time-slip and paranormal stories have always intrigued me. I think it’s because they feel almost possible somehow.

It’s easier to put myself in the shoes of a real world character who then experiences something out of the ordinary, than it is to identify with characters who aren’t human, or who don’t inhabit the same kind of world as me in the first place.

Do you read from printed books or some other medium? Please expand a little on the why of your choice.
I read printed books. I find it far more relaxing to curl up with a paper book on the couch with a cuppa to hand, than to read from a screen. I spend a lot of my day on my laptop, and screens feel like work to me. I find printed books easier on the eyes too. And if we’re talking picture books, then of course it needs to be the physical book if I’m going to fully appreciate the art work.


June 7, 2021 at 12:36PM Anastasia Gonis