and Terry Denton
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
Born in Melbourne in 1961; grew up in Pascoe Vale until I was eight and then moved to the eastern suburbs where I had lots of free unsupervised time to have lots of adventures with my friends Danny and Lisa and my dog Sooty, most of which have been extensively chronicled in the JUST…! series of short stories.
A comedy writer; lyric writer and vocalist for a punk band; a comedy writer. I’ve always loved—and take an enormous amount of inspiration from- off the wall comedy and music so I guess those ambitions aren’t that surprising.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
That toothpaste is a conspiracy cooked up by toothpaste companies in order to sell more toothpaste. I relinquished this belief as the result of three fillings.
4. What were three works of art – book, painting, piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?
a) Cole’s Funny Picture Books. Numbers 1, 2 & 3 by Professor E.W. Cole
b) Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols.
c) A picture featuring giraffes with their necks on fire and elephants with long spidery legs.
5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write novels?
Well, there weren’t actually that many artistic avenues open to me. Despite my love of music I was completely without musical aptitude. Despite my love of pictures featuring giraffes with their necks on fire and elephants with long spidery legs I was completely without drawing or painting skill. And despite my love of writing the idea of being a journalist just didn’t get me excited. I was good, however, at entertaining children and making them laugh. So writing funny books for kids was pretty much the ONLY artistic avenue I had left.
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
What Body Part Is That? is an extensively illustrated guide to 68 parts of the human body written by an unhinged idiot who has no idea what he’s talking about and illustrated by a complete moron who has even less idea of what he’s supposed to be drawing than the narrator. I know I’m not making it sound very attractive but it’s very funny, trust me.
(BBGuru: The publisher’s description:
There is a lot of nonsense written about the human body, and this book is no exception. In its 68 fully illustrated, 100 per cent fact-free chapters, What Body Part is That? will explain everything you ever needed to know about your body without the boring technical jargon and scientific accuracy that normally clog up the pages of books of this type.
Never again will you be stuck for an answer when somebody comes up to you, points to a part of your body and demands to know: What Body Part is That?
The crazy duo Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have turned us all inside out in the Andy and Terry guide to the human body: What Body Part is That? is packed with incredible information on the brain, the bum, the spleen and so much more – this is one anatomical journey you don’t want to miss. This fully illustrated stupid guide to the human body features the biggest, the smallest, the funniest, the stupidest and The Most Disgustingest parts of your body. It’s divided into anatomically comprehensive sections such as:
* The bits you can see
* The bits you can’t see
Packed with handy advice such as how to use your head as a bowling ball (the eye sockets and mouth make excellent holes for your fingers), you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about just what the body does, what it can do, and what you hope it never does.)
7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?
A sore belly. (From laughing, that is … not from eating the book.)
8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?
Well it’s hard to go past Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss, Professor Cole and Lewis Carroll. Each of these writers, in their own particular way, understood at a very deep level what tickles a child reader’s fancy.
To continue to work with the Indigenous Literacy Project to help to ensure that children living in remote communities have the access to books and other literacy resources that children in other parts of Australia take for granted. Oh yeah, and to have an accident where my arm is ripped off and has to be replaced by a super-powerful robot arm.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
To read, write, perform and experiment extensively with their stories until they find their own unique writing voice. It takes an enormous amount of time, work and dedication but it’s worth it.
& Terry, thank you for playing.
Follow Andy on Twitter – here
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.