So, so, chuffed that she found the time to pop into My Book Corner and answer our questions …
Tell us about you in 25 words or less.
Small, slight, frequently invisible. Reader, writer, realist. Gregarious on occasions, but happy to be fairly solitary. My pet hate is filling in forms.
What makes you happy?
So many things! Here are some of them (in no particular order):
Getting a new idea for a story.
Good conversations, good food and good wine with good friends.
Books – lots of them! I’m hanging out for the latest Margaret Atwood.
The TV series, Mad Men and In Treatment.
A cold beer on a hot summer afternoon.
Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?
Antarctica. I love the idea of all that snow and the ice, but as I don’t like being cold, I haven’t yet summoned the courage to actually do it.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I work at a desk in my bedroom. The balcony is drenched in winter sun and looks out onto Blackwattle Bay, the park, and city buildings. It’s a great place to sit and scribble and daydream.
What’s the best thing about being a published author?
Having the luxury of working when I like and where I like. And it’s wonderful when readers tell me that a particular book has had a big impact on them.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
When my first book, There’s a Sea in My Bedroom, was published, a group of little kids knocked on my door, asking if they could see the sea in my bedroom. They were very disappointed (and disbelieving) when I told them it didn’t actually exist…
Who or what inspires you?
People who are physically or mentally impaired, yet they get on with their lives, tackling each day with courage. Also people who cope with great personal tragedies with dignity, resilience and hope.
What is your worst habit?
The worst one will have to remain a secret, but others are procrastination and laziness.
Your favourite word(s)?
These change all the time. At the moment I like “gloppened” which means “surprised”. I get a visual picture of a mouth gaping and eyes popping.
What do you have on your reading pile at the moment?
Serena by Ron Rash; Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan; Burial Rites by Hannah Kent and The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis.
Did we forget anything?
Can’t think of anything.
Just for fun
Tea or coffee?
Coffee first thing in the morning. Tea in the afternoon.
Paper books or e-books?
Vegemite or Marmite?
Neither, though they’re both preferable to peanut butter.
Write or type?
I write in my notebook, scribbling down ideas and bits of stories. But once I get going, I love typing – it makes rewriting relatively painless.
Poetry or prose?
Mainly prose, though I like jotting down ideas and images for possible verse novels.
Beach or bush?
Beach. I love the way the sea changes colour.
Hot or cold?
In summer I long for cold days, and in winter I wish summer would arrive – now!
Margaret’s latest book from Allen & Unwin, On The Day You Were Born, is illustrated by Ron Brooks, and is available now