The Booktopia Book Guru Asks
the creator of
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born in Alexandra, Victoria. Raised in the beautiful village of Exeter in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Primary School at Exeter, High School at Moss Vale High. Studies were done at TAFE in Moss Vale.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
I think I was like most kids at twelve I wanted to do something with animals, either as a zoologist or a vet.
At eighteen I wanted to be a graphic designer.
I’m not thirty yet, however at my current age I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
I believed very strongly that I never wanted to live in Sydney or any other city! I was a country girl who hated the idea of not having open space around me. While I still feel strongly about being a country girl and I still have a real love for open space, I must admit though, I now love living in Sydney!
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
I was fortunate enough to have a mum who pushed me to further my studies after finishing high school. While at the time I was extremely upset as I wanted a gap year, I’m so very grateful that I now have my fine and visual arts training.
I moved back to the country after living in the city for a number of years, due to a break up with a boyfriend. I needed to restart my life and returning to my childhood home was the perfect place to start. I had time to really find myself and realise who I was and what I wanted from life. That was definitely a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes moment for me.
Travelling to Europe. For anyone who has grown up in Australia travelling out of the country is a huge life-changing event. You’ll never return the same person.
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?
I love physical books, the feeling, and the smell. I feel that people spend so much time looking at computer screens and on their phones that they enjoy the time out and feeling of escapism that you get from reading a good book. However the true escapism for adults is now the relaxation that comes from a secret thrill of colouring-in. It was cool when you were a child so why not as an adult too!?!
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
My book is a colouring-in book for adults. It’s a collaboration between my heart, mind and soul, and a book with drive and purpose. I thrive on creating art, and I particularly love combining my designs with phrases, sayings and affirmations that inspire or engage on a higher level. The designs are all organic and free flowing, a natural reaction to the words placed within the art. I can only hope they bring happiness to those who colour each one in.
7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
Ideally if I had the money I would donate as many copies of my work to nursing homes, hospitals and charities, especially ones that support people with depression. I’d like to think my book has an empowering and positive message and could change the world by putting a smile on the faces of people who need it most.
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
People who dare to be themselves and not conform to the standards that society sets. I find nothing more beautiful than someone staying true to themselves, owning their identity, stretching the social norm and being brave enough to empower themselves to be exactly who they want to be.
9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
I’d love to exhibit my art in galleries. I’d also love to travel a lot more and experience more cultures. Maybe release a few more books also!
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Never let anything hold you back. Work hard and keep trying. Get involved with writing groups and meet as many people in the industry as you can. It all adds into your experience that can help your book in the future.
Thank you for playing.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
Follow Andrew: Twitter