Oliver Phommavanh – Interview with CKT

Oliver Phommavanh

Q. Where is your favourite place to write? Do you prefer hanging upside from a tree? Lying in a hammock? Sitting in a giant box? Well I think you catch our drift…

I love writing in libraries. It could be any library, big or small. I love being surrounded by books and other readers. I also feed off people studying around me too (their energy I mean, you can’t eat in libraries).

Q. Do you find it more nerve racking performing standup comedy to adults or speaking to a group of children about your books?

Definitely stand-up comedy, the spotlight is on you and the audience expects you to make them laugh. Talk about pressure. I can get nervous about speaking to kids too but they seem to put me at ease. Plus I can catch them off guard with my jokes too hehe.

Q. Who do you most admire?

I admire all the librarians out there who share their passion of books with the kids. But personally, I admire Andy Griffiths, as a kid who kept me entertained with his crazy books filled with nonsense and as a fellow author too, I love how he can get any audience giggling at random stuff. It’s a real gift!

Q. If you could have any job in the world, author and comedian excluded what would it be?

Haha, you forgot to exclude teacher, which is my other job hehe. But apart from teaching, I’d like to be a video games journalist, writing about games for magazines and websites. Being paid to play games is still a dream for me!

Q. How do you come up with the titles of your books?

Some titles come naturally like Punchlines,  I have the title before I write the story. The titles usually pop out of writing the story though. I have 3-4 working titles in my head and then I talk about them with my publisher before coming up with the final title. In fact, I’m working out a title for the sequel for Thai-riffic!  right now. There’s a few titles that sound cool, it’ll just take me some time to figure out how it fits.

Q. If you could be any character from any book for a day who would you be and why?

An easy choice, that would be Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I still have dreams about being able to enter a world with giant gobstoppers, magical lollies and of course, a chocolate river. It’ll only have to be for a day because I’d have to spend the next year working it off.

Q. What’s next from Oliver Phommavanh?

I’m working on a new book called Nothing’s Prefect,  which is about a bunch of prefects at a rundown high school. It should be out next year. But I’ve just finished the sequel of Thai-riffic!  that will be released in October!

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