Pip Harry answers the Ten Terrifying Questions

by |May 27, 2019

Pip Harry is an award-winning writer and editor. Her YA novels include I’ll Tell You Mine, Head of the River, and Because of You. Pip lives in Singapore with her family and currently works as Editor for the Australian and New Zealand Association (ANZA).

Today, she answers the Ten Terrifying Questions…


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Pip Harry

Pip Harry

I was born in Melbourne and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA), where my Dad went to law school and Singapore, where I went to an international school, before returning to Melbourne, unsurprisingly yearning for a life of travel.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and
thirty? And why?

12 – an Olympic swimmer (I was marinated in chlorine and a fast
backstroker, sadly discipline let me down.)

18 – a newspaper cadet. Thankfully I failed the JET, or Journalism
Entrance Test twice to work at The Age, then landed a job as a
junior gossip reporter on NW magazine. I knew much more about
celeb gossip than current affairs, and still do.

30 – a novelist and freelance travel journo, doesn’t everyone want
this job? I did manage to become those things, though not at the
same time.

3. What strongly held belief did you have when you were younger that you do not have now?

That a workout should be a painful, sweaty slog at maximum heart rate. Now, I quite enjoy a leisurely stroll, cycle or yoga class.

4. What are three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – that you can now say had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

  1. John Marsden’s So Much to Tell You – impactful, real YA fiction that made me want to tell raw and truthful stories for teens.
  2. My father’s music collection – which included incredible storytellers like James Taylor, John Lennon, Cream, The Stones …
  3. Black and white photography, but particularly a moody shot of Manly Beach taken by Northern Beaches Photographer, Joel Coleman. I looked at it often while writing The Little Wave from my home in Singapore.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a children’s book?

Because kids are the best and most responsive readers (and I can’t draw, sing, play a musical instrument etc.).

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

The Little Wave is a verse novel for middle readers about a Manly school who sets out to bring a country class to the city for a beach visit. In doing so, three very different kids find friendship, courage, kindness… and each other.

7. What do you hope kids will take away with them after reading your book?

I hope they pick up a pen and write a letter to a stranger, sit next to someone lonely at lunchtime, or set out to achieve their dream.

8. Who do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Australia has some of the most talented children’s authors in the world – they all have my admiration, and occasionally my jealousy.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To win a CBCA, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Carnegie Medal, an Oscar … the Lotto …

10. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

It only takes one publisher to love your work, and you’ve got a seat at the table.

Thank you for playing!

The Little Waveby Pip Harry

The Little Wave

by Pip Harry

When a Manly school sets out to bring a country class to the city for a beach visit, three very different kids find each other and themselves.

Noah is fearless in the surf. Being at the beach makes him feel free. So where does his courage go when his best mate pushes him around?

Lottie loves collecting facts about bugs, but she wishes her dad would stop filling their lonely house with junk. She doesn’t know what to do about it.

Jack wants to be a cricket star, but first he has to get to school and look after his little sister. Especially if he wants to go on the class trip and see the ocean for the first time...

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