I’m related to the notorious bushranger Frank Gardiner. Frank and his gang of bushrangers, including Ben Hall, pulled off one of the largest ever gold robberies in Australian history, but in my defense the history books do say he came from a good family.
2. What is your nickname?
I don’t get nicknames very often. Lesley seems to suit me just fine but boys do like nicknames so sometimes I get Lez. My baby name was Lellie-pooche. Oh how cute!
3. What is your greatest fear?
Being forced to eat raw egg. Yuck!
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
Playful, humorous, entertaining, fun, rhythmical, quirky, suspenseful, surprising, lyrical, succinct!
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Tenacious, methodical, creative, joyful, disciplined
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Leslie from Bridge to Terabithia because she’s creative, imaginative, adventurous, kind and has a brilliant name. Oh, and we’re both fast runners.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’d go back to the 1980s, when my naturally curly hair was the height of fashion, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Cindi Lauper ruled the charts and Dirty Dancing and Top Gun were new hot blockbusters and of course I was a great deal younger than I am today.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Climb a tree, walk a fence, explore a cave, make a collection, build a cubby, invite a friend over to play, jump in muddy puddles, roller skate, finger paint, bake a cake, make lemonade, build a sandcastle and have an adventure.
9. Who is your greatest influence?
Teachers from every aspect and stage of my life have inspired me. Thank you, to you all. You’re a special breed.
10. What/who made you start writing?
As a kid, I loved the way language sounded, the way it could roll off the tongue or fire like a gatling gun. I liked silly sounding rhymes like the ‘Better Love Buttercup’ slogan for Buttercup bread or my father singing ‘Beans, bananas, green peas!’ or the alliteration of ‘Doctor Death’ the person my father became when I had to have a splinter removed from my finger. I think simple everyday language like these all planted the seed for an interest in language and writing. I loved listening to poetry and reading out loud too. Poems like The Owl and the Pussycat, Jabberwocky and verse by A.A. Milne were all read aloud in my childhood.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Geronimo! I used it a lot as a kid when I played. If you jumped off a fence you’d yell Geronimo at the top of your lungs. In fact Geronimo was the word for jumping off anything at all, a fence, a tree, the lounge. Give it a try. You’ll love it!
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would have to be a big heavy book that could be used as a doorstop or paper weight or something useful after I’d read it a billion times and have lots of pages that could be used for origami, paper planes and the like. So I think I’d go for the complete works of William Shakespeare, that should do the trick.
Lesley Gibbes is an Australian author whose debut picture book, Scary Night, is illustrated by Stephen Michael King and published by Working Title Press. Visit Lesley's website and Facebook page for more information about her writing and upcoming books.
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