10 Quirky Questions with author Christopher Cheng


1. What’s your hidden talent?

I used to play the piano and guitar well (separately, not together… I’m not that talented) and I used to sing!

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Mine is not a WHO (Dr.) it’s a what… a DARLEK

3. You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
More than a few authors and illustrators have feasted within these walls so these are five who haven’t:
William Shakespeare; Agatha Christie; Charles Dickens; CS Lewis; Marcia Williams (feasting at Marcia’s abode has been exquisite on many occasions so it would be awesome to do the same here. And I would cook).

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Tardis (yes it was first on TV but it’s also in the Dr Who books!)

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Think, think, draft, edit, rewrite. And No.6 would be awesomethanks (one word) to my editor.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
I Cried Reading His Book!

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
The photo of my very best friend – my wife; the view of my neighbourhood (okay that’s not an object but it could be objectified); my numerous numbered notebooks holding story drafts / ideas /
outlines; my plethora of writing implements (2B lead pencils and fountain pens); a poster of NSW native bees.

8. Grab the nearest book, open it to page 22 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)
The Impossible Secret of Lillian Velvet, by Jaclyn Moriarty, Allen&Unwin (you MUST read this).
Was it real, that cavernous empty feeling that echoed within the protective skeleton that was his body.

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
CS Lewis. Which came first: the lion, the witch or the wardrobe?

10. Which would you rather do: Never write another story or never read another book?
Never write another story – NO. Never read another book – NO. Never write another story – NO.
Never read another book – NO. Never write another story – NO. Never read another book – NO.
Hideously impossible to answer.

Christopher Cheng is an award-winning author of many children’s books including non-fiction, picture books and Chinese-themed historical fiction titles. He is co-chair of the Advisory Board for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a recipient of the Lady Cutler Award for Children’s Literature. Christopher is also an ambassador for the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature. For more information, see www.chrischeng.com.



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