Ten Terrifying Questions with Deborah Abela

by |August 1, 2022
Deborah Abela
Deborah Abela

Deborah Abela is an internationally published and award-winning author. Her books include, Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm (a climate change trilogy); The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery and the picture books Wolfie, An Unlikely Hero and the 2021 CBCA Notable, Bear in Space. She’s a proud ambassador for the charities, Room to Read and Books in Homes. Learn more about Deborah on her website and social channels here www.deborahabela.com.

To celebrate the upcoming release of her new book, The Book of Wondrous Possibilities, Deborah 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?

I was born in Sydney’s western suburbs as a happy, curious baby who grew into a happy, curious kid. This got me into lots of trouble, which is handy, because an author’s main job is to make trouble. I loved school and uni and after training as a teacher, I travelled to Africa where I was harassed by monkeys, caught in a desert sandstorm and thrown in jail…twice! I’ve worked as a child wrangler and a rides operator at Luna Park, TV producer and am now an author of 28 internationally published and awarded books, my favourite job of all!

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

Age 12: An actress until I realised I couldn’t act. Age 18: a singer until I realised I wasn’t very good at singing. Age 30: a writer, which is actually something I’d wanted to be since I was 7 but I thought wouldn’t be possible, but it is! Phew!

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

That I needed to do well in my final exams to do well in life. It’s not true. It’s more important to find something you love doing and be a good person.

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?

As a kid, I loved reading Dr Seuss books and encyclopaedias and atlases, as an adult I saw Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and sat staring at it for hours.

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

I LOVE kids books! I loved the way they made me feel that anything was possible and offered me a safe place when I was having a hard time. I feel the same when I’m writing for kids!

The Book of Wondrous Possibilities by Deborah Abela

6. Please tell us about your latest book!

Arlo Goodman lives with his Uncle Avery in a run-down flat above their bookshop. He has no friends, except for his pet mouse, Herbert. But when a girl called Lisette bursts into the shop and begs him to hide her from a murderer, Arlo is swept up into an adventure involving kidnappers, car chases and a story in The Book of Wondrous Possibilities, where Arlo and his skymouse battle villains and dragons. But he needs to find the courage to battle an even greater enemy, who threatens to destroy everything he loves. It’s a story about books, bookshops and libraries, and how they save us when we feel lost.

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

That even the smallest person can make a difference (I think this is because I am very short).

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

There are too many! So many of my writer friends are so talented, work really hard and are so generous in helping other writers!

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

I want to write a book that sets the world on fire….not literally, that would be bad, but creates a huge wave of bookish love across the globe.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write what you love, write because you have to tell that story, write, rewrite and write again.

Thank you for playing!

The Book of Wondrous Possibilities by Deborah Abela (Puffin – Penguin Australia) is out now!

The Book of Wondrous Possibilitiesby Deborah Abela

The Book of Wondrous Possibilities

by Deborah Abela

A story about books, bookshops and libraries and how they save us when we feel lost.

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