Thursday, March 06, 2014

Write Now with - Tristan Bancks

Next week is the Beaconsfield Festival of Golden Words. Tristan Bancks is one of Australia’s most active children’s authors, and an advocate of the internet as an essential writers tool. In demand at schools and libraries around the country for his exciting writing workshops for youngsters, Tristan is leading two of his story safaris and his popular Imaginarium session at the Festival.

1. What is your latest published book? Tell us a little about it.

TWO WOLVES, out 1 March. It’s a crime-mystery novel about two kids, Ben and Olive Silver, who are ‘kidnapped’ by their own parents. They are told that they’re going on a holiday but, after a couple of run-ins with the police, they realise that their parents have done something wrong. They need to become detectives within their own family and work out what their folks have done and what they are going to do about it.

2. What research did you have to do for it?

I read lots of articles on abducted kids and criminal parents. I learnt how log rafts are built and what rabbit hunting is like and I learnt about Norfolk Pine trees and police car antennas and I re-read My Side of the Mountain and Hatchet and White Fang and other wilderness novels that I love. Lots of details that I tried to get right. I took five years to write it so I take full responsibility for any discrepancies.

3. What is your best time of day for writing? Why is that?Definitely mornings. I am clear-headed and energised and ready for action. Afternoon is much better for logistical stuff. Then a late-night burst of ideas if I allow it. (Often no sleep afterwards.) 

4. What is the strangest question you've ever been asked by a reader? How did you respond?
‘Do you like pie’? I, of course, responded in the affirmative. 

5. What do you like most about literary festivals?Interacting with kids, meeting other writers and illustrators who invariably have an interesting take on the world. Telling stories verbally is fun and bringing them alive with images, video, anecdotes etc. It’s a nice excuse to stand up occasionally, too. Writers sit for waaaay too long each day / month / year.

Thanks, Tristan! I know what you mean about too many hours at the computer. Two Wolves looks great - can't wait to read it.

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