…International Author Of Mystery Meg McKinlay.
Age: 10 years
Breed (or best guess): “A spaniel/poodle cross,” says Meg, “which means she’s a spoodle but I can’t bring myself to call her that because it’s a ridiculous word, though thankfully slightly less ridiculous than cockapoo which is apparently what they’re called in the US.”
Assistant to: Meg McKinlay, the author of fifteen books, from picture books and young adult fiction through to poetry for adults. Meg’s novel A Single Stone won the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Award and her latest titles include picture books for both older and younger readers: Once Upon A Small Rhinoceros, Drawn Onward, and Duck!
Raised in a TV-free household, Meg was a bookish kid, in love with words and excited by dictionaries. Meg lives near the ocean in Fremantle, where she is always busy cooking up more books.
Help or hindrance? “Definitely helpful!” says Meg. “Examples include, but are not limited to:
i) Reminds me that I’m not an illustrator every time I try to sketch her
ii) Gets me up and moving early in the morning, which wakes up my brain cells for the day
iii) Demands to immediately be on the other side of any door which is closed to her, which gets me up and moving at regular intervals throughout the day. This sometimes feels like a hindrance as it interrupts me at the desk, but I’m someone who needs to be interrupted at the desk and reminded to move, so it’s actually excellent.
iv) Looks at me with her happy, uncomplicated face, which gives me jolts of pure dopamine – an essential drug for any writer in the weeds of the WIP.”
Fave toy: Her favourite toy is… “tennis balls of all kinds, colours, and states of dilapidation, most of which she finds just outside the tennis courts at the park where we walk and brings home to deposit in places that will cause humans to roll their ankles after stepping on them,” says Meg.
Fave game: “Her favourite game is chasing tennis balls until she drops flat from exhaustion or requires expensive veterinary intervention to reconstruct her ligaments,” says Meg, adding: “I am not even slightly joking.”