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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Author Interview: Margaret Clark

Margaret Clark is Aussie YA royalty and she has prolifically written stories for children and young adults for over 25 years. As one of the trailblazers of YA Aussie fiction, she wrote novels such as Care Factor Zero, Living With Leanne, Fat Chance, Famous for Five Minutes, and Back On Track - Diary of a Street Kid.

Her novels delve into all realms of teenage life including friendships, high-school, family life, self esteem and body image concerns, as well as teenage drug and alcohol issues which are based on her experiences when she worked in an alcohol and drug centre. These were the novels that really got me into reading in my early teenage years (roughly 15 years ago, gosh that makes me sound old!) and many of them still have pride of place on my bookshelves. It is an honour to feature Margaret on The Tales Compendium as part of Aussie Author Month.

Please welcome Margaret Clark!

I was the kind of kid who…was always reading books under the desk, in the playground, up a tree, under the house, in the chook shed. I didn't like sports, I loved reading. Due to this I had to get glasses in Grade 6 so I looked a complete nerd and boys called me Four Eyes and Teacher's Pet. My Nana said that 'Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you' so I just told them 'Get a life' and kept reading.

My mother always told me… to stop reading or my eyes would fall out. She lied, I still have two eyes.

The biggest lesson I learnt at school was… that I was hopeless at maths and good at, no make that very good, at story writing which was called Composition. I was also very good at reading, spelling, art, history and geography. I learned that true friends never let you down. I dropped balls, I was awful at running, I seldom got sick at school and if I talked too much I got whacked with the blackboard ruler or a strap. That was a shame because I loved talking! I also learned that no one could ever bully me unless I let them, so I didn't. I just yelled loudly, 'You stink of cats wee' or 'You have holes in your knickers' or 'You have head lice' and they ran away. (That was the teachers, the kids were okay)

My first big crush was… Eric. I met him again two years ago and he is bald and has a fat tummy and bad breath so I now DON'T have a crush on him.

I earnt my first pay cheque… at age 16 working in a milk bar and it was one pound two shillings and six pence.

I really hate it when… people are cruel to animals and kids, when people don't stand up in buses and trains for old ladies (me), when the TV stations change the programs and my fav is gone. When people ring the doorbell and try to sell me electricity, when the cats scratch my furniture. When I buy a meat pie and it's cold in the middle, when people don't listen about the ozone layer, when people light fires on fireban days, when people indicate they are going to turn left in their cars then turn right, when the dentist says I have to have seven fillings ...

I’m very good at… griping about …people who are cruel to animals and kids, people who don't stand up in buses and trains for old ladies (me), TV stations changing the programs and my fav is gone. When people ring the bell and try to sell me electricity, when the cats scratch my furniture. etc same old, same old. I am also very good with dogs, the garden, and people older than me, and little kids and teenager/young adults. I am NOT good at being patient!

The hardest thing I’ve ever done… is have a baby, all that pushing and yelling but worth it in the end

I’m frightened of… having another baby but that's unlikely as I am age 60 plus plus plus.

When I’m in the shower I sing… 'I'm Singing in the Shower, I'm singing in the shower, what a glorious feeling I'm happy just right now,'

My road to publication was… bumpy cos I was on a bus talking to a lady and when I found out she was a publisher at Penguin books I said I wanted to write a book so she groaned then said, 'Send me the manuscript when you're done'. So I did and she published my first book 'Pugwall.'

The last book I read was…'Peeking Duck' by Krista Bell and Sally Rippin. I read it last night to my four year old grand daughter Bonnie.

I would love to meet…Steven Spielberg because he makes fantastic movies.

When I get the munchies I eat… everything except tripe, liver, chillis, hot spices and worms. I love chocolate, cashew nuts, cheese, jelly babies and teeth and milkbottle lollies, popcorn and grapes.

I’m currently working on… a book for adults because they need to laugh.

I hope I never… die

Life is… exciting if you look for interesting stuff and also give thanks for five things everyday, as simple as,'Thanks for not letting me run out of toilet paper' or 'Thanks for the sunrise today' and 'Thanks for my new rose' and 'Thanks for my computer working when it didn't yesterday.' and 'Thanks for me being healthy.' and 'Thanks for Jessica asking me to answer these questions.'

Thankyou for being part of Aussie Author Month, Margaret!

Margaret on Goodreads
Margaret's website

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