Ladies and gentlemen, Heidi McKinnon!
Hi Heidi, thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed on Tacos.
Thanks for having me.
Firstly, have you ever eaten a monster?
I really like most monsters and would not actually eat one. Also, monsters taste like playdough. Have you ever eaten playdough? It’s very bland.
Yuck! I love your characters and the way you bring their stories to life, but I notice they don’t have names. Why is that?
They are very shy and I’m contracted to keep their anonymity.
You’re such a kind author. I hope they appreciate it. Do you talk with your characters while you’re communicating their stories? Maybe a chat over a sausage roll?
The characters mostly do all the talking and I listen. Also a good sausage roll is hard to find! Let me know if you have any hot tips.
I know of a shop where you can get a delicious sausage roll. it’s a long way though!
If you could go back in time and do anything differently as a child to be a better writer as an adult, what would it be?
Keep a diary! As some of my best work was made when I was a kid. Also, make more mistakes. Mistakes are the best way to discover awesome things.
Great tip. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Who made ‘being right’ the boss anyway? I once wrote a book about failure. It didn’t sell. It was a total success!
Hey, what books make you laugh?
All the Piggie and Elephant books by Mo Willems; Stuck; Oh no George; The giant jam sandwich; I want my hat back; The book with no pictures; Max the brave; This is a ball; Piranhas don’t eat bananas … I’m probably missing a bunch of other great gems, but these are just a few that come to mind.
Wow, that’s a great list. So, who is your funniest fictional character of all time?
Ralph Wiggum (The Simpsons)
Yes. Love it!
What is your funniest sounding word and why?
Meep! – find out in my next book, ‘Baz & Benz’ – due out in March 2019 😉
Should pineapple ever be on a pizza?
Yes, but it needs to know its place.
Do you have a draw full of unfinished manuscripts?
I have a book full of ‘things in progress’ + abandoned stories, and a mind full of ideas trying to get out.
Is writing a funny book lots of fun to do? Do you sit at your desk laughing all day?
It begins as hilarious! … and then it becomes hard work.
Stupid hard work! You should just stop at the beginning then. No, don’t do that. Then we’d never have your amazing books. Keep working hard.
If one synchronised swimmer drowns, do the others drown too?
Probability is high! But hopefully they’re all wearing floaties.
I have a joke for you. What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?
I don’t know, what did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?
Haloumi (hello me). Okay, I didn’t say it was a funny joke. Do you have a favourite joke?
Yes. Why did the person fall off the swing? Because they had no arms.
Hahaha. Okay, that was funnier than mine. This interview is over!
When you create your picture books, do you think of adding humour that both kids and adults relate to?
I really try to make books that are engaging for little and big people to read. Currently my lovely daughter requires eight hundred and seventy five books read to her at bedtime – so I always keep in mind the person reading the book. Perhaps they’ve had a big day and need a story that’s silly and fun to read.
Awesome. I agree. It really shows in your books.
It warms my heart when people tell me they get a laugh out of my books as much as their kids do.
What’s your number 1 tip for anyone wanting to craft a funny story?
Read eight hundred and seventy five books to a little person every night.
And finally, if a cow laughed would milk come out of her nose?
Only if the cow was drinking milk at the time.
Wow, you know a lot about stuff!
Well, on that note, thanks for your time today. I love your books and think your quirky style and sense of humour is just what so many of us are looking for in picture books. So please, keep ‘em coming.
Ladies and gentlemen, Heidi McKinnon. Woo-hoooooo!
I love these questions so much. Thank you Ken!
Heidi McKinnon is an author and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia. Find out more about Heidi’s work at her website: http://www.heidimckinnon.com/
Heidi’s book, I ate my friend, was shortlisted CBCA Awards, Crichton Award for New Illustrators 2018 AU; Longlisted Children’s Picture Book of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards 2018 AU; Longlisted Indie Book Awards – Children’s Fiction 2018 AU