02 September 2011

COOL Awards Shortlisted Author Ursula Dubosarsky

The COOL Awards are the Children's Choice Book Awards in the ACT.

Ursula's book The Terrible Plop has made it onto this year’s shortlist in the Picture Book category. Read on to find out more about Ursula, what inspired her to be a writer and more.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Well, I decided I was going to be a writer when I was six years old. Before that, I wanted to be a tightrope walker ...

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? And what prompted you to become a writer?
When I learned to read in Year One, I realised that books not only had titles but names of authors on them. So when I found out what an author was (I asked my mum) I thought to myself, I like making up stories. I think I will become an author!

What’s your writing process like? Do you make an outline or just start writing?
I usually just start writing. I might get an idea from something I hear or see or read about. Usually the idea involves a character and a situation. It might not be the key situation of the story, but somehow I'm interested in it and I want to write about it. So I start writing and see where it takes me.

I do think it would be better in many ways if I did do an outline, as I know many writers do. But somehow my brain just doesn't seem to work that way - I can't think what might be going to happen until I start writing.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I try to write in the mornings, from about 9am, and to about the middle of the day. After that I'm exhausted! I'm quite a slow writer, and have do a lot of rewriting.

The dreaded writer’s block; Ever have it? How do you beat it?
If I'm stuck on something I like to sit on the sofa and close my eyes and listen to music. And just daydream about the story. It almost always works.

What is your favourite word and why?
Today my favourite word is "meekly". I just like the sound of it, and it makes me smile to think of it (very meekly).

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read a lot, like most authors! I like walking the dog along the river, and I like cooking cakes. I like going to the theatre too. It's great seeing live human beings creating a story on stage, while you sit in the darkness watching them...

Anything new being worked on at the moment?
I've got a picture book coming out in November called "The Carousel". It's a poem about the experience of being on a merry-go-round as a child. Very magical! They book is BEAUTIFULLY illustrated by a painter named Walter di Qual. It glows in the dark (well that's how it feels!)
Tohby Riddle and I are also very happily working on a "Word Spy Activity Book" which will come out early 2012. It's looking great fun - a book of wordy activities that children can write in and draw in and colour in and cut up and all that sort of thing.

How can fans get updates for your upcoming books?
I've got a website www.ursuladubosarsky.com

There's also a special website just for my book "The Golden Day" - www.thegoldenday.info

Both of my websites were put together by my clever daughter, Maisie. (Thanks a million, Maisie!)

Stay tuned for more blog posts by COOL Award shortlised authors!

For more information on the COOL Awards click here

To see what other books are on the shortlist click here