Monday, December 17, 2012

An Interview With Children's Author Aleesah Darlison

Aleesah Darlison is a multi-published Australian children’s author. She writes picture books and novels, both in the contemporary fiction and fantasy genres. She also works as a book reviewer for The Sun Herald. Aleesah’s picture books include Bearly There, Puggle’s Problem (NSW PRC) and Warambi (2012 CBCA Notable Book Eve Pownall Award, 2012 Wilderness Society Award for Children’s Literature - Shortlist). Her chapter books include Fangs and Little Good Wolf. Her novels and popular series are I Dare You, Unicorn Riders and Totally Twins.

Here Aleesah answers ten quick questions about herself and her writing.

1. What’s your favorite children’s book of all time?
That’s incredibly hard to choose! Classic: I love The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (who doesn’t?). Modern: Diary of a Wimpy Kid – those books really make my kids and me laugh.

2. What’s your favorite genre to write?
Again, hard to choose. I love writing picture books because my stories are then illustrated by amazing artists, but I probably do feel most comfortable writing junior fiction for say 8 – 12 year olds. It’s so much fun – I can be a kid again when I write.

3. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I spend a lot of time conducting school visits and running author talks and writing workshops, for both children and adults. And when I’m not doing that I’m usually buzzing around trying to maintain my three kids’ busy social lives.

4. What were you good at as a child?
I’ve always been an avid reader, so I was pretty good at that. I was also pretty good at swimming and athletics and did well at the local carnivals.

5. What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently editing and reviewing draft illustrations for books 7 and 8 in my Unicorn Riders series. The books are called Krystal’s Charge and Ellabeth’s Light. I’m really pleased with how they’re turning out. They’re fun and interesting stories to write (and read!), kids love them and my publisher, Walker Books, has an amazing team that I work with.

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
We’re actually planning a family holiday to America for next year. We bought a map to see all the places we could go. I think we’re going to have to be over there for five years to see everything! America is HUGE. But we only have one month. If anyone has any ideas about the best, must-see places in America, I’d love to know what they are. It would certainly help with our planning and our budget.

7. If you could be any type of animal, what would it be?
Either a meerkat or a red panda. They’re both so cute, but I watched a documentary about red pandas the other night and they’re endangered so maybe that wouldn’t be such a great choice ...

8. What really gets your goat?
Bad drivers. I live in Sydney so there are far too many of them. Especially at this time of year! I’m pretty sure others must feel the same way.

9. What’s the best piece of advice you could give aspiring writers?
Don’t ever give up. You never know what’s around the corner, ie a publication acceptance. I received over 400 rejections before I received a book contract.

10. What will be the next book you release?
Bearly There. It’s a picture book featuring a boy and a teddy. The inspiration behind the story is my own son, Blake, and his much-loved but rather raggedy teddy bear. The book will be released in March by Windy Hollow Books and is illustrated by Jill Carter-Hansen.

Thanks for that. Anything else you’d like to add, Aleesah?
For more info about me and my books, people can visit my website at or drop into my Facebook Fan Page and ‘LIKE’ it: Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Robyn. Readers/followers: please post comments or drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks, Aleesah, for visiting my blog and sharing your fabulous answers to the 10 quick questions. All the best in 2013. All the best to everyone!



Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Aleesah and Robyn from this very insightful interview.

I'm amazed at Aleesah's journey to publishing ... her fortitude and her ability to write prize winning books that kids love.
Congratulations Aleesah... you Inspire me to keep trying with my children's books ... Karen Tyrrell :)

Tracy Krauss said...

This was a fun and encouraging post. I see we have lots in common. I, too, was rejected multiple times (with good reason at first!) until I signed my first deal for my first romantic suspense novel. Also, I have illustrated a children's book which I am still shopping.

Tiffany Mandrake said...

What fun! Love writing in that mad, mad mid range myelf. Thanks for the insights:-)

B.D. Knight said...

I agree with your answer to question 2. I just started writing some of my scary stories for ages 10 - 14 and it's more fun. You can release your inner kid.