What was the best thing about writing this book? Before the first book, ‘My Dad Thinks He’s Funny’, was released I hoped that people would find it jolly and fun but I didn’t expect it to strike such a strong emotional chord with so many people as well. I’m continually touched to see how the books trigger memories for readers and move adults and children to share their own family anecdotes. I’ve seen women on the edge of tears recounting stories of their own father. I’m very lucky. It’s a special kind of happy, sharing to be a part of.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? For a long time I wanted to be a vet. I also wanted to be a mum. In High School I wanted to be a teacher. I can cross two things of the list and I think that will do. I’m too clumsy to be a vet anyway.
What other jobs have you had? While I was at school I worked at Woolworths. While I was at university I worked in Out of School Hours Care Centres. Since then, while being an author, I’ve mainly worked as a parent and a teacher.
What traditions from your childhood do you continue? There are some things I’ve always done and continue to do with my own children. We: Own a dog, Spend summers at the beach, Eat dinner together at the table each night.
Do you collect anything? I collect picture books! I can’t browse through the children’s department of a good bookstore without leaving with something gorgeous. And I can’t look in a good bookstore without spending most of my time in the children’s section. And I can’t walk past a good bookstore without actually going in.
What is something that most people might be surprised to know about you? I’d like to spend more time on boats.
What else would you like to write a book about? I’d love to write something about a mermaid. I’ve felt that for a while but I haven’t been able to find the right angle, an original angle, an interesting angle.
What are you working on next? I’m not sure, maybe something about a mermaid, or maybe a koala.
What inspired you to write this book? ‘My Dad STILL Thinks He’s Funny’ gave me the opportunity to find a home for some great jokes. A few of the gags are ones that I couldn’t squeeze into the first book but most of them are new tales that readers shared with me after hearing the first book. When I read it to school groups the children would be desperate to relate their own family sayings. Their stories were funny and beautiful. It would have been a shame to waste such wonderful material.
What’s the best part of your job? Writing. It’s as simple as that. The actual act of just sitting down and writing and being lost in the work.
Read my review of ‘My Dad STILL Thinks He’s Funny’ here.