Mem Fox - Author
One of Australia’s best-selling children’s book authors, Mem Fox, has written more than 25 titles. In the interview below, she talked to RIF staff about writing, reading, and children’s books.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
A: I have two places where I do my writing. I have a desk where I write with my hand, with a pen and a pencil and paper. And that desk is right next to a glass door, which if it is open I can hear the sea. And that is very calming. But because computers are so useful in redrafting things I have moved from the desk in my bedroom to the desk in my office and back to the desk in my bedroom and back to my office a lot. Because I sometimes have to write by hand -- my brain just says I have got to do this hand. As then when I am on my way I go and put it on the computer. And then for a while I stay on the computer and I make changes on the computer. And then I have to go back to my handwriting desk.
Q: How do you make a book?
A: You sit down and you write a story. And then you rewrite the story. And then you rewrite the story. And then you rewrite the story. And then rewrite the story. And then you send it to a publisher and you say do you like my story? And they say yes we will make this into book for you. So they make it into a book. They organize for it to be printed. They organize for the pictures to be done. They organize for all the binding to be done on the book. They do the cover. You do not have to do anything after you have written the story. I did not have to do anything. That is the way I like it.
Q: Do you have another job?
A: I used to have another job that I loved very much. I was a teacher for twenty-eight years. And I love it so that in my last class I cried three times because I was leaving teaching. But the books had become -- had made my life so busy that I was frightened that I would soon be a bad teacher because I would be too busy to teach well. So I left when I was still teaching well but I was sad to go.
Q: How many books have you written?
A: I think I have written about 25 books. I cannot count over thirty. So if I have written more than 30 I will never remember. I have written some books for grown ups as well I think that is what brings it up to thirty.
Q: Which one of your books is your favorite?
A: I think probably Koala Lou. Though my favorite is different on every day of the week.
Q: What do your illustrators use to color and draw the pictures?
A: These use lots of different things. They use paint. They use colored pencils. They use oils. They use paper. They use cardboard. They use tissue paper. All sorts of things. Many, many things they use to illustrate my books.
Visit Mem Fox online at http://www.memfox.net/.