On the Couch with Katrina Nannestad

Katrina-Nannestad-photo-by-Rebecca-RocksWho is Katrina Nannestad?
I’m a children’s author. I like to write history, mystery, adventure and humour. I weave my stories around themes of family, friendship and belonging, and always aim to leave my young readers with a sense of hope and joy. I’m also a wife, a mother of two grown-up sons, a whippet owner, a country dweller and an expert chocolate chip bickie baker.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d take more holidays to Europe. Who wouldn’t? Everything’s exciting when you visit another country. I love that buzz I get upon seeing anything for the first time – a mountain, a style of housing, a cityscape, a food market, a farm, a church … It’s all very inspiring. I come home with a million new ideas for stories.

Who inspires you and why?
Enthusiasts. I love meeting people who have found their thing – that one special thing that gets them really excited. It can be rescuing wildlife, building model train tracks, promoting early literacy, knitting tea cosies. What inspires me is the passion, the focus, the joy, and the eagerness to share the joy with others.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Provide top quality, free education to every single girl and boy in the world. Failing that, I’d keep on writing stories, because literature makes a difference in the world. A good story can inform, inspire, challenge, delight and comfort the reader.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Norway for its fjords, apple orchards, pretty houses, friendly people, even friendlier sheep, fabulous hiking and serenity.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The Expedition Pass Reservoir between Faraday and Chewton. It’s a beautiful little lake surrounded by hills and bushland that feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s a great place for a picnic and a swim, and you can safely take your dodgy blow-up raft out on the water, because if it sinks or the oars snap, the shore is always close enough to just swim on in. Perfect!

What are you currently reading?
An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden – an old book from 1955. I love second-hand books and this was a gift from my son. A little girl finds a packet of flower seeds and becomes obsessed with creating something beautiful amidst the post-war poverty and ruins of London.

What are you currently listening to?
Music by Supertramp, Carly Simons, The Beach Boys, Cat Stevens and Billy Joel. Don’t make fun of me! I know I should be trying to keep up to date, but I find the music of my youth comforting.

Happiness is?
Sitting on my veranda at the end of the day, sipping wine, watching the changing colours of hills and sky as the sun goes down. There might be a chatty friend and a wedge of blue vein cheese nearby, too.

What does the future hold for you?
I hope to keep writing children’s books. It’s my favourite thing to do. And sometimes I think it might be fun to write something completely different, just to mix things up – a picture book …  or poetic property descriptions for a real estate agent … or a melodramatic romance with misty moors and feuding families and something mysterious that’s been locked away in the attic. I don’t really mind, as long as I get to keep writing.

Katrina is an award-winning Australian author. Her books include The Girl Who Brought Mischief, the Girl, the Dog and the Writer series, the Olive of Groves series, the Red Dirt Diaries series and the Lottie Perkins series, and most recently, We Are Wolves. For more infrmation, visit: www.katrinanannestad.com for details.

Image: Katrina Nannestad – photo by Rebecca Rocks