Monday, 30 March 2009

Reader's Snapshot - Sue Lawson

This week I am spotlighting Australian author, Sue Lawson. She is the novelist behind Dragon's Tear, Allie McGregor's True Colours and Finding Darcy. I reviewed the wonderful Finding Darcy earlier in the year, it's a wonderful tale of Darcy delving into her family's secrets by researching her grandfather's WW2 death.

Which book is the most memorable from your teen years?
Just one? Are you kidding? There are so many memorable books from my teen years, so I’m going to cheat and pick three.

A Wrinkle In Time – Madeleine L’Engle
I was nearly a teen when my Year Five teacher, Mrs Phillips read our class A Wrinkle in Time. I was mesmerized from the start and can still remember the smell of the wooden desk top, cool against my cheek, as I listened. ‘It’ terrified me, Charles frustrated me and I loved Meg, and Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which. I’ve read it several times since and recommend it all the time.
Just read it if you haven’t already!

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
This was my Twilight. I first read The Outsiders when I was about 14 and have read it and That was Then, This is Now about a thousand times since – seriously! I haven’t read it as an adult so will dust off my battered old copy and give it a go! Ponyboy’s world of greasers, socs and rumbles was so foreign and yet so compelling. I loved Soda and Pony Boy especially.

Catcher In The Rye – JD Salinger
This was our class novel in Year 10, and I have to admit to dreading having to read it. I expected Catcher in the Rye to be boring, dull and uninspiring. What was interesting about rye? Or catchers? I hated baseball! Boy, was I wrong! I loved, loved, loved Holden and his angst and was surprised at how much we could relate to him, even though the book was 30 years old when we read it.

Why is it when I start talking about books I loved, others rush forward! There are so many more fantastic books I loved in my teens - To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings, Animal Farm, Leon Uris… the list goes on.

Describe your high school English teacher in three words...
Inspirational, passionate about literature and quirky.

Your book of the moment?
I’ve just finished Someone Knows My Name. It’s about is an 11 year-old girl, Aminata Diallo, who’s captured by slave traders near her West African village, Bayo and transported to South Carolina. I’d only watched Amazing Grace, a film about the abolition of slave trading, a few months ago. Many of the issues and characters from Amazing Grace featured in Someone Knows my Name too. Both are compelling stories of courage.

Now I’m reading The Reader (before I see the film) and will re-read The Outsiders as soon as I’m done!

What do you use to mark your page when reading?
I use whatever is closest – usually a bookmark, but I have been known to use hankies (folded and clean!), business cards and even the arm of my reading glasses. I don’t dog-ear though and avoid lying the book open at the page I’m up to – though I have done that in emergencies!

Favourite place to read?
Anywhere! I’ll read wherever I can. In the sun, but out of the wind is great, in bed, car, train, doctor’s surgery waiting room! The only place I don’t like reading is in front of the TV – I find the TV too distracting.

Favourite word?
Onomatopoeia – my inspirational, passionate and quirky English/Literature teacher introduced that term while we were studying poetry in Year 9, I think. I love the sound and look of it.

Favourite book store?
We don’t have a book store where I live, which is tragic, so I love visiting book stores whenever I travel. My favourite Victorian book stores are The Little Bookroom in Nicholson Street Carlton, Geelong & Bellarine Books, Brunswick St Bookstore, Fitzroy and Readings in Lygon St, Carlton.

Character you wish you had created?
Again with choosing one! I’m going to cheat, again, and pick two! One is from a movie and the other from a book.

Juno MacGuff from Juno.
How amazing is this character? She’s strong, independent, quirky, funny, brave, confident, vulnerable and awkward all at one. I loved her sassy one liners and her individual style. She is fantastic – I wish I’d created a character like her.

Gandalf – Lord Of The Rings.
I was drawn to Gandalf in The Hobbit, but liked him much more in Lord of the Rings. Gandalf is a terrific character – like all of us he is a mass of contradictions – wise, strong, courageous and noble, yet tortured and vulnerable. I hate the fight with the Balrog!

My favourite LOTR quote comes from Gandalf when he is talking to Frodo about the ring.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’ Then there’s Aragorn…

No comments: