1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I once played a Mafia thug in a Jackie Chan film.
2. What is your nickname?
My best friend calls me 'Monicus'. My wife calls me 'Day'. My kids call me loudly.
3. What is your greatest fear?
Becoming cruel. A world too baked or flooded for my great-grandchildren. Running out of tea.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
I save my words cannily — then splurge on luxury: lyricism.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Adventurous. Curious. Generous. Sincere. Prolific.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Batman. For all his wealth and strength, he's just a little boy trying to save what he loves — knowing he never can. He's come to terms with his failure, but never gives up. He is a brilliant example of genuine heroism. For Batman, it's not about being perfect, but about living nobly by using his flaws well.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
The year 387 BC, to meet the philosopher and poet Plato. It's been said that all of philosophy is simply 'footnotes to Plato'. I'd like to meet the dude behind the footnotes — drink some wine, talk some ideas, perhaps break some of the spacetime continuum.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
'Can I borrow your copy of All-New X-Men, volume one? And is that lasagna? Can I have ALL OF IT?'
9. Who is your greatest influence?
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, for his (brutal) honesty. Philosopher Aristotle, for his portrait of the virtues. Novelist Henry James, for his belief in writing as a career. And Roger Hargreaves, who wrote the Mr. Menbooks: civilisation needs silliness.
10. What/who made you start writing?
Partly to share wonder: at this ludicrous universe, and the strange ideas we have of it. Partly to share pleasure: in words, well chosen. A little narcissism, maybe.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Here's one: 'yes'. It's because of Nietzsche's quote: 'Formula of our happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal.'
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What a question. Like asking which toe I'd like to walk on. Perhaps Winnie the Pooh. It has comedy, drama, philosophy and nonsense. In a life without books, it'd inspire me to write more of my own.
Damon's first children's picture book, with illustrator Peter Carnavas, is My Nanna is a Ninja; UQP; $24.95 RRP. See our review here.
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