10 Quirky Questions with author/illustrator Jess Racklyeft


1. What’s your hidden talent?
Growing wild (ok, messy) gardens!

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
It would have to be a Dahl villain like Agatha Trunchbull or Veruca Salt. So much character they dripped off the page and into your dreams.

3. You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (alive or dead)
Well, now I feel like Roald Dahl should come, and some friends like Anna Walker, Davina Bell, Anden Wilder and Claire Saxby.

4. Which literary invention do you wish was real?
Lets go with plot twist, but only from bad to good.

5. What are five words that describe your writing process?
Messy, revised, confused, hopeful and finally: that-will-do.

6. Which are the five words you would like to be remembered by as a writer?
I’d probably prefer to be remembered more as an illustrator so hope you don’t mind me changing to that! Dreamy, colour-filled, adaptable, creative and joyful.

7. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
Paints, cold tea, a view to breath into, a pet, headphones.

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!)
Magic was made from scraps of paper, some dusty dreams and old coffee stains.
The book was The March Wind by Inez Rice.

9. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
All these questions are very tricky, and especially this one. But perhaps I’d like to go back in time and ask someone like the Buddha (as he was kind of an author, in a teacher way) not a question, but just be there and watch them in action and see what I could fathom for an afternoon and then be filled with ALL the questions, or perhaps deep peace?!

10. Which would you rather do: ‘Never write another story or never read another book’?
Never read another book. As I’m imagining there are some loopholes here, like perhaps I could listen to it as an audio book, or just look at the pictures? 

Jess Racklyeft is an author and illustrator based in Fitzroy, Melbourne. From her home studio, Jess creates original paintings and prints for greeting card companies and various clients. But her favourite work of all is producing children’s books! Jess has authored and illustrated several picture books and board books and has won several awards, including a CBCA Award. For more information, see www.jessesmess.com.



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