Mal Peet, author of Life: An Exploded Diagram, Keeper, and more, answers Five Facetious Questions

by |May 4, 2012

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Mal Peet

author of Life: An Exploded Diagram, Keeper, The Penatly and more

Five Facetious Questions

1. Every writer spends at least one afternoon going from bookshop to bookshop making sure his or her latest book is facing out and neatly arranged. How far have you gone to draw attention to your own books in a shop?

I’ve set off the fire alarm and rushed around yelling ‘Save the Mal Peet books! For God’s sake save the Mal Peet books!’

2. So you’re a published author, almost a minor celebrity and for some reason you’ve been let into a party full of ‘A-listers’ – what do you do?

Tell the celebs that you’re an English-speaking plumber. You’ll have all their phone numbers and addresses inside ten minutes.

3. Some write because they feel compelled to, some are Artists and do it for the Muse, some do it for the cash (one buck twenty a book) and some do it because they think it makes them more attractive to the opposite sex – why do you do write? (NB: don’t say -‘cause I can’t sing, tap or paint!)

My wife makes me do it. She parades our skeletal, ragged, sobbing children past my desk, knowing it disturbs my sleep.

4. Have you ever come to the end of writing a particularly fine paragraph, paused momentarily, chuffed with your own genius, only to find you’ve been sitting at the computer nude or with your dress half-way over your head or shaving cream on your face or toilet paper sticking out the back of your undies or paused to find that you’re singing We are the Champions at the top of your voice, having exchanged the words ‘we are’ for ‘I am’ and dropping an ‘s’?

No? Well, what’s your most embarrassing writing moment?

Hey – have you guys installed hidden CCTV cameras in my study, or what?

5. Rodin placed his thinker on the loo – where and/or when do you seem to get your best ideas?

They just pop into my head every ten years or so.

Mal, thank you for playing.

Wan tho know more? Mal Peet answered our Ten Terrifying Questions, too.

Click here to buy Keeper from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

Did You Know?
Mal Peet will be coming to the
Sydney Writer’s Festival – click here

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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, 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.

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