Ten Terrifying Questions with Charlie Archbold!

by |July 20, 2022
Charlie Archbold

Charlie Archbold is an educator and writer. Her first novel, Mallee Boys, was a CBCA older readers honour book. The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat, her first middle-grade novel, was shortlisted for the Text Prize.

To celebrate the release of her new children’s book The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat, Charlie takes on our Ten Terrifying Questions! Read on …

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

Hello. So, I was born in London. During my school days my family gradually moved away from the city until we finally settled in an English village. I went to six different schools, so I got good at making new friends.

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

When I was twelve, I wanted to be an actor. I loved performing and making up plays and shows. At eighteen that passion continued, and I studied Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts at University, where I was involved in Theatre in Education performances. I loved it. I had never thought about being a teacher but after that I knew it was what I wanted to do. By thirty I was teaching, and it is a very special profession to be part of.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you don’t have now?

At eighteen I thought that when you protested about change and making the world a better place it really had an impact. Unfortunately, I think change for good and the future, such as action on climate change, takes longer than I’d expected.

4. What are three works of art – this could be a book, painting, piece of music, film, etc – that influenced your development as a writer?

I love the song, ‘Walking on Sunshine’, by Katrina and the Waves. Whenever I hear it, I feel energised and excited to take creative risks. The Wizard of Oz in all its many wonderful forms. Not one, but so many books under the magical -ealism umbrella. I love the fusion of realistic, fantastical and magical.

5. Considering the many artistic forms out there, what appeals to you about writing a children’s book?

You can let your imagination go wild. I enjoy solving problems from a young person’s point of view without the sensible practicality of being an adult. There is so much joy, hope and optimism when you write for young people it makes me happy.

Charlie Archbold’s latest book – The Sugarcane Kids and the Red Bottomed Boat

6. Please tell us about your latest book!

The Sugarcane Kids and the Red Bottomed Boat is a wild middle-grade adventure. It is set in the rainforest and on the coast of far north Queensland in Australia. Andy and his best friend Eli need to solve the mystery of why Eli’s cousin has been wrongfully arrested.

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7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

The warm feeling that friendship, loyalty and kids taking action can make a difference.

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

I have been affected, moved, and challenged by many amazing books. I admire imagination so authors like Isabel Allende, Kazuo Ishiguro, J K Rowling, and Ted Chiang are all up there.

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

Write more stories about the Sugarcane Kids because I’m not ready to let the characters go yet. Take a fiction leap and write for adults.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read heaps and don’t always read in the genre you are writing. Keep learning about language, vocabulary, voice and form as this helps develop your own style. And read your writing aloud.

Thank you for playing!

The Sugarcane Kids and the Red Bottomed Boat by Charlie Archbold (The Text Publishing Company) is out now!

The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boatby Charlie Archbold

The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat

by Charlie Archbold

Get to know the author of The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat.

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