Interview with Mark Carthew, author, poet, songwriter, teacher and scholar.
The Bell: What inspired you to start writing?
Mark: I just love books and playing with words. I especially love illustrated books, art & design. Both my dad and my grand- father collected old books and they passed that love onto me also.
The Bell: What Primary school did you go to?
Mark: The old Glen Waverley Primary School, which has now been bulldozed except for the oldest stone building which was once Black Flat Primary School and is over a hundred years old. There s funeral parlour there now on the corner of Spring- vale & Waverley roads .
The Bell: When you were a kid did you imagine
yourself as a writer, editor and an educator?
Mark: Sort of… I’m not sure I really knew what I wanted to be. At one stage when I was really little I wanted to be a policeman.
The Bell: What was the first book you ever wrote?
Mark: A teacher book called – Having fun with Melodramas for Bushfire Press . For kids The little Bl Book in the Blends Books series, which was originally a poem.
The Bell: What is the favourite book you have written so far?
Mark: Too hard a question! I love them all of them in different ways and they are all illustrated by such great illustrators such as Mini Goss and Susy Boyer.
I also really love working with Mike Spoor on my books
Mike s such fun to work with and his illustrations always make me laugh. Another book of ours is Witches Britches, Itches & Twitches!
The Bell: Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names and what are they?
Mark: Two dogs Jaffa a smart ball chasing Corgy/ Blue Heeler cross & Elton, a very long eared gentle New Cavalier.
The Bell: Where did you live when you were a kid?
Mark: Glen Waverley
The Bell: How many books have you written?
Mark: It s hard to answer as I have also co- written and edited many where I am technically also one of the author creators. Without the overseas editions it’s 112 books, 4 musicals and 2 Music CDS plus articles, songs and poems
Mark: Absolutely. But I have a few jobs! I am a children s writer, presenter, teacher, university lecturer, tutor, editor, poet and musician.
The Bell: What is your favourite part of your job?
Mark: I just love being creative and having the chance to bring an idea to life. Working with people such as illustrators and designers is just so much fun as wonderful, some- times unexpected things happen when books are being made and designed. It s also great to see something you have made being enjoyed by others.
Images used with permission from Mark Carthew s great website.