This week I talk to Rowena Wiseman about her new children’s book, Aunty Arty and the disquieting Muses.
Rowena has been an extremely helpful friend to me in the months leading up to me finding my publisher Pen Name Publishing. Her advice and help assisted me greatly and so I am very happy to present this interview.
Her book for junior readers explores art but also tells a great story. I am really pleased when I see people introducing children to the world of art, it is introducing them to something they can always depend upon, a knowledge and love of great art is a comfort forever.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Aunty Arty and the Disquieting Muses, Rowena Wiseman is available now through Jet Black Publishing.
1. Please tell me about yourself.
I write contemporary fiction, children’s stories and a blog about writing and publishing in the digital revolution http://www.outofprintwriting.blogspot.com.au. I have two young children, I work at a regional art gallery and I usually write before the sun rises.
2. What do you like to read?
At the moment I’m pretty much reading Zola and Updike on rotation! What I like about literature, art and music is there’s always someone new to discover and fall in love with. My old favourites are Tatyana Tolstaya, Raymond Carver and Peter Carey’s earlier works.
3. What are you reading right now and what do you think you will read next?
Right now I’m reading The Drinking Den by Zola, it’s about a lady named Gervaise who wants to lead a ‘good’ life. Her aspirations are to work hard, not be beaten too much by her man and to die peacefully in her own bed. All this is turned upside down when her husband and her lover milk her dry so they can line their stomachs with liquor. It explores how respectability can suddenly turn into total disgrace. Next I’ve got Updike’s Couples on my bedside table.
4. Why do you like to write?
It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed …
5. Tell us about where you come from and where you live now.
I grew up in south-east Melbourne. I now live on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour out of Melbourne.
6. If you could invite any person, alive today or from history, to a dinner party who would you invite and why?
This probably changes from week to week, but right now I’d love to meet Rosaleen Norton, artist and occultist, also known as the ‘Witch of Kings Cross’. I’d love to mine her life for a story or two …
7. What advice can you give to people trying to achieve their dreams?
Have persistence, patience and hold on to your passion.
8. Can you tell us about your new book and about your inspiration?
The first book in my children’s series Aunty Arty has just been released as an ebook. It’s about a quirky aunty who takes her niece Frieda into well known works of art. I thought it would be fun to imagine what could happen if we could meet the characters in an artwork.
9. Can you give us a quote from your favorite book?
The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Thank you so much for the interview Rowena!
Follow Aunty Arty’s adventures on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuntyArty
Watch a video about how we created Aunty Arty: http://youtu.be/Dm4o_Lk_SiA
Buy the book: http://www.jetblackpublishing.com/shop/aunty-arty-and-the-disquieting-muses