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Andrew Plant

answers the Usual Questions

photograph and painting, Andrew Plant, courtesy of the author; 220x293

Andrew Plant

Describing himself, busy Melbourne-based Andrew Plant says, "Although I trained as a zoologist, I am now an illustrator, author, science educator, and theatre designer, director and choreographer."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

No, I'm afraid I get so absorbed in any project I'm on that I have enough trouble listening to editors, let alone anyone else! I've actually never been to a conference, although I've met lots of kids at schools and libraries who like my books, and I always like hearing what they say.

But it's never changed how I work. I've got to write what I like, and just hope someone else likes it too!

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

A few times I've received letters from parents who said that their kid had really got a lot out of a workshop or a talk, and that it had made a difference to how they approached reading or writing, or even, once, to their self esteem. That's pretty satisfying.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

I love Neil Gaiman and China Mieville, even though - or because - their work is nothing like mine. Great imaginations, dark and strange. In illustrated books, I really admire Shaun Tan and Jon Klassen. Jon even influences my theatre set painting. In pure illustration, James Christensen.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

My daughter - we have a lot of fun together. If it had to be someone I didn't know, Carl Sagan (the alive version, of course), or one of the above writers.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

There are too many idiots and bigots to mention.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Chocolate. How many books can I take? Perhaps load up several Kindles. And some chocolate.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Really big royalties. No wait, that's not as shallow as it sounds. I want to keep writing, even sometimes stuff that I know will never get published. I don't want to have to do another 'proper' job to support my writing. A few huge sellers, or quite a few regular earners, lets me write and illustrate more. See, not shallow at all. Plus, I could fly Business Class!

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Not having someone tell me what to do every day/never having to grow up.

submitted by Andrew Plant

28 July 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Yes, I was. Oh, Melbourne, not long after the middle of last century (now THAT sounds old!)
Resides: Melbourne, the bottom of Australia one. (There are several.)

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