Aaron Blabey’s picture books have a style and charisma all of their own. No surprise then that Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley was selected for Read for Australia 2012.
Huge thanks to Aaron Blabey for answering My Book Corner’s questions …
Tell us about you in 25 words or less.
Take Charlie Parsley, stir in a generous portion of Sunday Chutney, add a pinch of Annabel Spoon and garnish with Henry Blood. (“WHO??”, you ask…)
What makes you happy?
Watching my kids reenact scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark. My 6 six year old has taken to flinging the kitchen door open unexpectedly and insidiously declaring “Good evening Fraulein” to my wife.
Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?
I’ve always wanted to spend some time in an old timber house by a vast, mist-laden and perfectly still lake somewhere in a heavily wooded part of Canada. Preferably, one with a jetty. And perhaps a haunted basement. Or a well.
Where is your favourite place to write/illustrate?
I dedicated my fourth book to “The place where I buried my shoes” – my favourite place in the world. It was palpably magical. And I miss it with all my heart.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I’d make winning less important.
What’s the best thing about being a published author and illustrator?
I get to send my thoughts and feelings out into the world in a charmingly analogue and old fashioned way and then, when I visit schools or check my webmail, I get to experience the responses of those who’ve embraced them. Best. Job. Ever.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I get asked weird things all the time. A recent one from a boy at a school last week – “Did you come here in a limo?” My response – “Yes. Yes I did.”
Who or what inspires you?
A million things – Bob Dylan’s integrity, my kids’ endless curiosity, Indiana Jones’ determination, Francis Bacon’s paintings, my year 7 English teacher, John Murray’s complete lack of political correctness in letting me submit astoundingly naughty and inappropriate creative writing, the music of J.S Bach, Jack White, Miles Davis and the Beastie Boys, man, I could go ALL day…
What is your worst habit?
Not using spel chekk.
Your favourite word(s) and why?
Winter. What’s not to like?
We’re very intrigued by the title of your next book – The Dreadful Fluff – please elaborate on that title!?
It’s about a girl who puts a lot of pressure on her self to be perfect. Then one day she is horrified to discover that she has belly button fluff. And what’s more, it’s evil belly button fluff.
In a nutshell – Perhaps the way we deal with life is more important than trying to always be the best.
And I bet you all thought it was about a fart…
Did we forget anything?
Yes. You forgot to ask in a voice of utter amazement – “Is it true you’ve got not one but FIVE books coming out in the next couple years? And is it also true that they’re called The Dreadful Fluff (2012), Noah Dreary (2013), The Brothers Quibble (2014), Henry Blood (also 2014) and Another Untitled One That Probably Involves Rabbits(2015)?? Good grief man, how can this be so?”
Just for fun
Tea or coffee?
Until they create a tea that is served in little shots with crema on top – coffee.
Paper books or e-books?
e-books are great. But being huddled in the corner of a school library with an open, dog-eared, musty old Methuen edition of Tintin and the Seven Crystal Balls on my first day at a new primary school will take some beating.
Vegemite or Marmite?
I have VERY strange breakfasts. I’ve been known to prepare a plate of Steak Tartare with a raw egg on top. Or tackle the fish curry from the night before. Or simply eat a box of dry biscuits washed down with several glasses of juice.
But I don’t think I’ve ever had Marmite. So, by default, Vegemite I suppose.
Anyway, aren’t they the same thing? …he asks controversially.
Write or type?
Write, type, scrawl, draw, scribble, delete, scratch, slash, scrunch, write, type, scrawl…
Poetry or prose?
2 of my books rhyme. Six don’t. I’m on the fence here.
Beach or bush?
Bush. Sand annoys me. But I do like the beach in winter. I’m complicated.
Hot or cold?
My favourite word was winter, remember?