Saturday, April 19, 2008
Today I have an interview with author Brenton Cullen, whose book, The Writers: a Collection of Australian Writers' Biographies, is now available from i-proclaim.
Brenton has interviewed six well-loved Australian writers, resulting in a thoroughly engaging and illuminating book. Interviewer Brenton agreed to become an interviewee for Spinning Pearls, and here's what he had to say.
SALLY: It’s rather unusual for a younger writer to produce a book of biographies. How did you first get the idea for this?
BRENTON: I thought about all my favorite authors and how I wished I knew more about them and their websites provided little, at least not as much as I wanted to know about them. Then idea sparked me: The Writers: A Collection of Australian Writers' Biographies. I would get to know more info about my favorite authors and also get to write another book. The way I saw it, two cool benefits!
SALLY: How did you choose your six featured authors?
BRENTON: I set about emailing a few authors, I think about ten or 11 in total. The way I got these six authors is simple: the other never replied! I originally had plans to do a second book of author and illustrator biographies, so I am now considering it.
SALLY: What was the authors’ reaction when you invited them to tell you their life stories? Did anyone refuse?
BRENTON: They reacted pretty good. Some were excited about the concept of it like Libby Hathorn. And some others just took it casually like it happened everyday! Jackie French was very enthusiastic and supportive of it, answering many questions and giving me all sorts of info as did all of them and including Hazel Edwards . And no, all the authors that replied enthusiastically agreed to let me write their biographies.
SALLY: As a young writer, have you had support from your friends, or do they think you’re a bit unusual?
BRENTON: Support from my friends?? hmmm.... not so much, from a couple of my friends. From my 6th Grade teacher Mrs. McDonald a lot!! At school, amongst all the kids and my friends and that, we don't really talk about my being an author (I think the most talk of it is from a few of the kids "Can I have your autograph?" and "Can I buy a copy of your book?") I politely either say No, All right just this once, or Buy it from my publisher's website bookstore, please!"
But some kids just think I am weird and do not believe I am a writer. They think that it is just something adults do. Well it's not!"
SALLY: What are some of your other interests, besides writing?
BRENTON: Hmm, my other interests are: cooking food to eat, playing basketball and handball and soccer with all my friends at school, surfing the Net, chatting, listening to Music, and reading and I acting (I am wanting to also pursue a career in the future as an actor/voice actor).
Brenton's book is available from