Author: Kate Gordon (Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’ve just tonight finished the astonishing A Small Madness, by Dianne Touchell. It’s a book that will stay with me for a long time. Bleak, confronting, and a truly accomplished work of literature. If it doesn’t win all of the awards, I’d be very disappointed. I’m about to start the first in the Pandora Jones series, by Barry Jonsberg. I’ve been meaning to read these for ages – I’m a huge fan of Jonsberg – and am glad I’m finally getting around to it. Exciting!
Do you have a favourite genre? What do you enjoy most about it?
Nope! Not at all. I’ll read anything. I guess I’m predisposed to children’s and YA literature, but I read quite a lot of general fiction, too (though I steer clear of the super-literary end of the spectrum – not clever enough for that stuff), and I’m a bit addicted to memoirs and autobiography.
Do you have a book you like to re-read? If yes, which book?
I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles at least once a year. It’s my favourite ever (the fact that my daughter is called Tessa attests to that). Despite generally being attracted to more upbeat fiction, there’s something about Tess’ spiral into blackness that grips me every time. I have to restrain myself from shouting, “Don’t do it!!!” at the page every time I read it. I also often reread The Catcher in the Rye. It was my first ever proper YA. It squeezes my heart every time I read it. And, if I’m after some proper comforting, I’ll reread Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life – my favourite when I was a teen. It is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life to have a testimonial on the cover of the latest reprint. It’s a beautiful book.
Where do you read most often? Why?
I read most often in a dark room, listening to my daughter breathe. I steal little gobbled treats of words while she naps. There’s something delicious about sneaky reading in the darkness. Reminds me of being a kid, reading under the covers by torchlight!
Do you have a favourite book from your childhood?
As a very small child, I loved books by Babette Cole and Graeme Base – I pored over The Eleventh Hour so many times I think I could reproduce it from memory – if I could draw! Robin Klein was my big obsession as I got a bit older, and a tremendous series by Jill Murphy called The Worst Witch. I so identified with the hapless Mildred Hubble. And I loved Seven Little Australians. It’s another book I reread often. I also had a secret obsession with The Babysitter’s Club. Ssh. Don’t tell anyone! Oh, and then there began my passion for Tamora Pierce. And the Nick Earls phase began … Sorry, too hard to answer that one. I think it’s why I’m stuck in writing and reading books for young people. There’s just too much good stuff there.
How do you choose which book to read next – Cover? Blurb? Recommendation from a friend? Reviews?
Oh, golly. All of the above. If I’m in a physical bookshop, a cover might grab my attention, and a blurb will lead me to buy. Quite often, nowadays, though, I get my recommendations from social media. The books people are raving about on Facebook, or the ones publishers are talking up on Twitter are the ones I’ll often scout for. Also, I am “friends” with so many authors on Facebook, it’s often a job just keeping up with their publications! This year, I’m trying to read a bunch of YA from all over Australia, so that will keep me busy for a while!
You can put one book you have written and one book by another author into a time capsule that will be opened in 100 years. Which books would you choose and why?
Writing Clementine is the book I am most proud of, and the one I’d most love to share with people in the future. As for a book by another author? Probably something by Shaun Tan – The Lost Thing or The Rules of Summer are books I think should definitely be read for hundreds or thousands of years.
Can you share little bit about your current or latest writing project?
I’m fiddling with a few things at the moment, as usual. I’m editing a YA project called Tiger, about a young girl dealing with a tragedy in her life, set on the backdrop of my hometown, the supermarket where I used to work, and the rural football community. I love it and I can’t wait for it to be read. I’m also working on a couple of middle grade projects as it’s an area I really want to explore. I’m still practising, but I’m getting better!
Kate Gordon is an Australian author of young adult fiction. Her novels include Three Things about Daisy Blue, Thyla and its sequel Vulpi, and Writing Clementine. You can find out more about Kate at her website, which includes a wonderful blog where she shares her thoughts. You can also connect with Kate on Twitter (@misscackle).by