1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
OK, I’ll let you in on a secret: If I am ever late to a meeting or event, I will usually say that it was because of traffic. This is a lie. More than half of the time, it’s because somewhere on the way to that meeting or event, a random dog has made eye contact with me. I am addicted to giving good-boy-belly-rubs!
2. What is your nickname?
As a child: ‘nose in a book’ (what a cliché!). As a teen/adult: Millie or Milly (my real name is Amelia).
3. What is your greatest fear?
This one is oddly specific – I love to paddleboard at the beach (very inexpertly), and my greatest fear is crossing into that darker stretch of water where you can no longer see what’s underneath you. I’ve been attacked by many vicious seaweed strings and plastic bags over the years.
4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Experimenting with ideas, playing with language, and seeing what sticks.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Funny, silly, playful, energetic, rhythmic.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Matilda Wormwood, because I can’t help but feel that the powers of telekinesis would make
me at least 98 per cent more productive.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
1985, because the music was banging, the movies were ridiculous, and ‘the sprinkler’ (my signature dance move) was still cool.
8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Congratulations on finding a job that isn’t boring! Also, why are your eyes so baggy?
9. Who is your greatest influence?
I grew up on Pamela Allen’s picture books – lots of rhyme, lots of nonsense. I definitely see elements of that in the stories I love to write.
10. What/who made you start writing?
My son (but not for the usual lovey-dovey reasons). I was so excruciatingly tired and bored during the first six months of maternity leave (during COVID-19 lockdown) that I could almost feel my own brain atrophying. Writing classes were a gift to myself to survive that period – and a reminder to myself that my mind still worked!
11. What is your favourite word and why?
‘Bamboozle’, because it just feels great coming out of your mouth.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
William Goldman’s The Princess Bride – who could resist that delicious combination of romance, fantasy and comedy? Plus, it’s immensely quotable.
Millie lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and a rather cheeky two-year-old. Her lifelong ambition is to accumulate enough books to justify an extravagant home library like the one in Beauty and the Beast. Her debut picture book, Mr Price’s Pet Emporium, is out now, published by Larrikin House. For more information, see www.millielewisauthor.com.