Sally Rippin – Interview with CKT

Sally Rippin

Q. What’s the best thing and the worst thing about being a writer?

The best thing is you can work anywhere and at any time. The worst thing is your work never leaves you and you can never leave your work behind.

Q. Where is your favourite place to write?

My favourite place is in bed – but this is a guilty pleasure. My second favourite is at the kitchen table looking out over the garden to the studio I hardly ever use.

Q. What tips would you give to an aspiring writer?

Write as much as you can. You only learn to write by writing – plus read a lot and widely.

Q. Do your characters wake you up at night with ideas?

No, my characters don’t wake me, but I often wake in the night thinking of ideas for my characters or solutions to problems in a story I am stuck on.

Q. Tell us a little about your writing journey. What prompted you to sit down and write your first story?

I have written stories for as long as I can remember and have been making my own books since primary school. I believe all of us are born creative: writing, drawing, singing, dancing, but somewhere along the way someone tells us we’re not good enough or it’s not a serious enough thing to do. I guess I was lucky to have enough people in my life who encouraged me to keep going. I think I would still be writing and drawing and making books (or films, or music) even if I had never been published – I can’t imagine a life without art.

Q. Who do you bounce your ideas off? An agent, friend, family etc.

My partner and youngest son first of all, then my editor. I am always in a writing group, but these days I have such tight deadlines I usually have to get my ideas to my editor before I even have the chance to show them to anyone else.

Q. If you could invite one author, dead or alive to dinner who would it be?

It would have to be someone I wasn’t too awe-struck by, otherwise the dinner table conversation would be pretty stilted, also someone warm, humble and articulate. As I have no idea if any of my author heroes are like this in real life, I think it would be safer for me to just admire them from afar.

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

Maybe Fern from Charlotte’s Web.  As a child I always envied those quiet afternoons she had sitting on a little wooden stool by the stables, listening to all the farm animals chatting amongst themselves.

Q. What’s next from Sally Rippin?

Book Four of my Our Australian Girl  series, some more Hey Jack!  books, plus a new series of Billie B Brown  mysteries for slightly older readers. Somewhere in there I also have to squeeze in a set of illustrations for a picture book on meditation for children, by Whitney Stewart, the author of the ‘Becoming Buddha‘  book I illustrated a few years ago. I feel incredibly lucky to be so busy and don’t take it for granted for a minute.


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