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Reading Matters Deborah Ellis - Author Interview

Deborah Ellis - Author Interview Hot

Deborah Ellis - Author Interview

Deborah Ellis does not shy away from bringing tough topics straight to young readers. The Parvana books have gone a long way in revealing the impact of war in Afghanistan to the younger generation. The Parvana trilogy has just been completed with the release of Parvana's Promise.

We're honoured to be welcoming the inspiring Deborah Ellis to My Book Corner...

Tell us about you in 25 words or less. 

I am a human being who tries to not make the same mistake twice.

What makes you happy? 

Wandering around aimlessly makes me happy.  So does riding my bike, learning new things and keeping the promises I make.

Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet? 

I've always wanted to go to North Korea.  Haven't gone yet because I haven't figured out how to go so that I can talk with folks.  I'm interested in what people believe and how they act on that in restricted circumstances, and also on learning how people are all pretty much the same, even when living in a situation that is quite different from ours.

Where is your favourite place to write? 

I am on the road a lot so I can write anywhere.  If possible, I like a table by the window with lots of light and a cup of coffee nearby.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?   

I would make it illegal for anyone to make money off of tools of war.  If we take away the profit, we might bring an end to the madness.

What’s the best thing about being a published author?  

Best thing about being a published author is being a PUBLISHED author and not, like I did for decades, just writing all these stories to myself.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked? 

Strangest questions might be:  if I were one of the 12 disciples, which one would I be?  I think I said Peter, because he makes so many mistakes but still tries to learn from them.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by people all over the world who have had horrible things happen to them but are still kind.

What is your worst habit?

Worst habit is holding on to little bits of information on little bits of paper, thinking they might be needed someday.

Your favourite word(s)?

Favourite word might be yes.  

What is the one thing that you hope young readers take away from the Parvana series?

I hope kids take away from the Parvana books how damaging war can be in ways we don't ordinarily hear about.

Just for fun

Tea or coffee?    coffee, cheap instant

Paper books or e-books?    paper books 

Vegemite or Marmite?    either vegemite or marmite, but I'm Canadian, so, really, maple syrup

Write or type?    write instead of type

Poetry or prose?    prose over poetry 

Beach or bush?     bush over beach

Hot or cold?      hot over cold

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Deborah Ellis - Author Interview 2015-10-25 01:05:54 Colleen Dalley
Commented by Colleen Dalley    October 25, 2015


I have been reading the Parvana series to my 11 to 13 years students since they were first published. Long time! I love them and so do my kids, boys and girls! We are very privileged people living in Aotearoa New Zealand and we are a small country area and school. Your stories do so make us think and cause much excellent discussion about war, and journeys, and families, and loads of other themes.
Kids still remember and occasionally discuss Parvana five or ten years later, and just the other day, a mum told me her daughter, who is now at uni, said she had talked about Parvana to her lecturer in an English class.
Thank you for your great books, I love them all. They are hard to find here now, in paper copy, so I will be importing them to get new copies, to replace my worn out ones!
Kind regards.

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Deborah Ellis - Author Interview 2012-10-22 03:07:11 Nicky
Commented by Nicky    October 22, 2012


A great interview - I will be showing this to my son who read "Parvana" for Yr 7 English. I think he will be further inspired to read about about 'a real human being'!! thank you both for a great interview

Owner's reply

You're welcome - thanks for your lovely comments. Your son may also be interested in The Best Day of My Life, also by Deborah Ellis.

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