Katherine Battersby is the talented author and illustrator of the endearing picture books Squish Rabbit and Brave Squish Rabbit. Absorbing, enchanting and sporting a fabulous squishy cover they made their way on to My Book Corner as soon as we laid our eyes on them. So, we are just more than a little bit excited to welcome the creator herself to answer the My Book Corner questions ....
Tell us about you in 25 words or less.
Collector of words. Long time scribbler. Beach girl at heart. Virgo (painfully so). Sweet tooth and drinker of tea. Close to my family even though they’re far away. Writer and illustrator by day, quiet contemplator by night.
What makes you happy?
Family. Friends. My puppy. Books. Holidays (especially if there is a beach involved). And nerdy things like animation, games and all sorts of puzzles.
Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?
Japan. I love everything Japanese: the food, people, culture, climate, animation. The art that has come out of Japan (especially that of Miyazaki and Murakami) has had a strong influence on me as an illustrator and storyteller. Why haven’t I made it there yet? Good question! I’m asking myself that right now…
Where is your favourite place to write/illustrate?
It changes regularly, but right now … at my little local Italian café. They have a beautiful room out the front that looks onto a little memorial park. Lots of great opportunities for people watching. And they serve amazing hot chocolate and Italian treats.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Just one thing? Hmm … that there be no need for animal shelters, because all cats and dogs have safe and happy homes they belong to. Abandoned animals break my heart. My lovely little pup sits on my feet as I write this.
What’s the best thing about being a published author?
Getting the chance to speak to kids and readers. My absolute favourite thing is when kids point out something about one of my books that I've never noticed before, or they see something in a new light. Once a story is out in the world it is no longer the author’s alone. I love hearing different takes on my stories – I love that kids take ownership by having their own ideas about things like characters and choices and endings.
What’s the strangest question you've ever been asked?
“Why aren't you a man?” I think someone was a bit confused about women’s roles in modern society! Yes, kiddies, women too can be authors.
Who or what inspires you?
Anime. French picture books (nice and moody). Clothes (I love fabric and textiles). My lovely man (he’s an artist too, and a very clever one at that). My puppy (he’s hilarious and ridiculous and oh so sweet – he’s in many a character I’ve created). Food (art is a sensory experience, so it’s important to indulge the senses!).
What is your worst habit?
Procrastination. I have a terrible habit of playing solitaire on my phone when I should be doing other things. Like getting out of bed. Or cleaning the house. Or writing. Or generally being a productive human being.
Your favourite word(s)?
Persnickety. It’s so nice to say (you can feel it echoing around your mouth – go on, say it). Plus it sounds like what it is. And I may be a little persnickety myself…
Are you planning any more adventures for the adorable Squish Rabbit?
I do have a few more ideas for Squish, so I hope so! Although at the moment I'm working with a new character, which is great fun too. It seems I like little critters, and this time it’s a teeny tiny tea-cup pig. He’s a lot bolder than Squish, but he seems to get into just as much trouble.
Did we forget anything?
If you’re anything like me, I'm sure you did. I have a terrible memory. I keep ‘to do’ lists. But then sometimes I forget to look at them.
Just for fun
Tea or coffee?
Definitely tea. Melbourne breakfast is my current addiction (deliciously vanilla-y). With a big dollop of honey.
Paper books or e-books?
Paper. I can’t imagine making the transition just yet. Although I do read plenty of things on my iPhone, like blogs and newspapers.
Vegemite or Marmite?
Neither. I’m a peanut butter girl all the way.
Write or type?
Type. I was raised on computers, plus I have a terrible pencil grip that can be quite painful.
Poetry or prose?
Prose, but only when it comes to writing because I'm no poet. I love to read both, especially verse novels.
Beach or bush?
Beach. I grew up in a small coastal town called Mackay, on a cliff top overlooking the ocean. I live far from waves now, and still miss the sound of the rolling tide.
Hot or cold?
Too hard! I love scudding along the beach in a summer dress and thongs, but I also love the multi-layered, boot wearing, scarf wrapped feel of winter.