Get to Know

Book Week Q&A with Cristy Burne

What does Book Week mean to you?

I’m so passionate about giving children the gift of reading. Book Week is a time of hope and possibility. Thousands of children all across Australia pour into libraries. They meet and interact with storytellers and book creators. And they hopefully receive an injection of excitement and enthusiasm that will encourage them pick up a new book, tackle a new series, or simply see the light at the end of their reading tunnel.

Reading’s not about phonics or spelling. It’s about stories. It’s about possibility. It’s about journeys into other worlds and an understanding of what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes. It’s about adventure, escapes, true love, friends, family and fun.

Books give all those things to me, and Book Week is a time to help spread that gift.

Who was your favourite book character as a child?

I read and loved SO MANY books and loved SO MANY book characters as a child. It’s super-impossible to pick a favourite. Here goes:

Pooh Bear. Pippi Longstocking. Nancy Drew. Trixie Beldon. Blinky Bill. Any of the Secret Seven, especially Scamper. Any of the Famous Five, except Anne. The BFG. The Grand High Witch (she makes me shiver, even now). Aslan. The Happy Hollisters. Jimmy and Lotta and the amazing circus dog, Lucky. Willy Wonka. The Great Brain. Runaway Ralph. Toad. Mr Lizard and Wicked Mrs Snake. So so so many.

I can’t write anymore. I have to go and re-read one of these books right now!

Who is your favourite character that you’ve written?

My favourite character is Deepika from Off The Track. She’s this incredibly effervescent, outgoing, optimistic character who’s essentially blind to the misgivings and flaws of people around her. She always assumes the best of everyone, and she always gives 110%.

Deepika in the book is based on a real person, also called Deepika. The real Deepika’s mum is called Anamika, and she’s just as outgoing and optimistic and lovely as Deepika.

How will you be celebrating Book Week?

I’ll be celebrating Book Week with a jam-packed schedule of school and library visits all over Perth: from Innaloo to Rockingham.

I’m lucky enough to have had two books released this month, Off the Track and Zeroes and Ones: the geeks, heroes and hackers who changed history, so there’s lots to celebrate. I’m looking forward to meeting loads of readers and writers and together we’ll be inventing stories, twisting science and chatting about books. I also plan to share some ideas from my vault of Top Secret Authorly Stuff, so watch this space…

If I have any energy left after that, I’ll be spending it in bed—with a book.

I’m looking forward to a fantabulous week!

Wow - what a week she has lined up! Happy Book Week, Cristy.

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