About Bron Blake.
Where do you live?
In Gippsland, Victoria, in a conservation area near Inverloch, which is a small seaside town, very popular in the holidays. We overlook Bass Strait, we’re close to Wilsons Prom National Park, and within a few hours of the Gippsland Lakes and the High Country... so you can see where a lot of background for the books began!
Where did you grow up and go to school?
In an old house in Brown St. Heidelberg, Melbourne. The description of it can be found in the opening of "Rock Dancer'. I went to Ivanhoe Girls Grammar, Heidelberg State School, Eltham High and PLC, East Melbourne.
How long have you been writing?
In my head since I was a small child, about three, and began remembering my environment. If you write, as I do, from a strong visual perspective, it's really important to develop a keen recording eye and an excellent visual memory.
I've been writing full time since 2000. New millennium, new life.
I had a great start because in 2000, I was awarded the first May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust Mentorship for a new writer. It was a wonderful help for someone coming late into a field about which I knew virtually nothing! I had two weeks of visiting, learning and asking dumb questions,(really, really dumb questions!) as well as having the manuscripts of my first two books assessed and commented upon.
What did you do before you became a writer?
I worked as a teacher (my first real job), then in the community in a variety of jobs to do with children, families, communities and health, here and overseas.
Why do you write for Young Adults?
It's challenging to present difficult, "adult" ideas to people whose life experience is usually more limited simply because of their age...not their intelligence or understanding. Teenagers are open to new ideas and I'd like to think I had some part in introducing readers to new ways of looking at issues, people or experiencing an environment.
Do you have kids?
Yes, three. One born in Alaska, the other two were born in Australia. They're all grown up and now very useful. They fix things and dig drains.
Why did you live in Alaska?
My husband was an upper-atmospheric physicist who had worked in Antarctica at the Mawson Base, and who wanted to continue his studies at the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks, Alaska. We were there for seven years and our oldest son was born there. It's a beautiful place, Alaska, and living there just outside the Arctic Circle, was a unique experience which still remains dear to me.
Where are your favourite places?
Underwater off a coral reef. In a tent in the bush. The Thurra River in Croajingalong National Park. Wild places anywhere in the world, especially Alaska...but excluding wild cities. I don't like them much.
Where do you like to write?
All of the above, except underwater... it fuses the laptop and disintegrated the exercise book. Failing those, my study at home, looking out at the bush.
Do you read a lot?
Heaps but not as much as I'd like to. Reading often sparks a thought and that's the end of reading until I've written my ideas all down... sometimes a book later!
Do you watch TV?
Yes. David Attenborough docos (what a surprise!) and murder mysteries.
What makes you excited?
A new idea for a book that's just flashed into my head. Travelling. Kids who want to write - or do anything creative - and who have the courage to push those ideas to the limit.
Who's your favourite, all-time author and why?
Jane Austen. She writes about timeless themes, with very few words, and her insight into people does not date. I'm addicted to her.
What's your idea of a perfect weekend?
It starts on Thursday. There's no bushfire danger. It's 25 degrees and fine. The 4-wheel drive is packed and Monday is not a problem... in fact it has been permanently removed from the week... along with Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh, and meeting David Attenborough... and Tim Winton somewhere wild, remote and beautiful.
If you had three wishes what would they be?
3 more wishes. 3 more wishes. 3 more wishes. Then I could really fix the world. After fixing the world I'd like a good singing voice, and not sound like a strangled crow.