What is the funniest book you’ve ever read?
Unreliable Memoirs, by Clive James. Side splitting!
What is it about writing for children that makes you happy?
The freedom to stretch my imagination in all sorts of weird directions.
Also the visuals: the illustrations, covers, standees, branding. It’s a visual feast that I never tire of.
Which author’s or illustrator’s sense of humour do you enjoy? Why?
Authors: Lou Rennison, so irreverent, clever and witty. It broke my heart when we lost her earlier this year.
Andy Stanton, so absurd and clever. Love his style. Andy Griffiths has absurdity nailed too. Ditto Danny Katz. It really is a unique talent to be able to write like that. It’s fairly easy to make readers cry. Not so easy to make ‘em laugh. That’s HARD. It’s risky too.
Love Lemony Snicket aka Daniel Handler. Thirteen Words is brilliant and a double win because Maira Kalman did the illos. She’s got such a sharp eye. I LOVE their library song on Youtube. A Hymn to Libraries. God, that’s clever. All the subtleties. They’re a great team.
So, in terms of OS, Lauren Child. I love the way she works with body language to get that really really funny pose or head tilt that says so much. Beautifully observed. I can pore over Clarice Bean for hours.
What has been your funniest moment as an author / illustrator?
There are loads. But I remember once when I was at Somerset, some boys from Gympie, Qld, got so worked up about a story they’d written for me that they literally fell on the floor laughing. They were trying to read it out to me (and to the audience) but they couldn’t cope with their own brilliance. It was hilarious.
Give us a one liner to make us smile!
We need more cowbell.
Finish the sentence… “What cracks me up is…”
Which of your own book characters would you want to meet in person? Why?
Well, between you and I, I’ve actually met Matron Pluckrose (from the Home for Mislaid Children). That was bloody scary, I can tell you.
I’d like to meet Tan Callahans’s mother, Coral. She’s the bomb. How does she get her kids to be in such awe of her? I want to know this.
What is the most comical response you’ve received from a fan?
One kid asked me if I ever ring up Emily Rodda.
I also find it sweet that kids always refer to you by your full name. ‘Excuse me, Jen Storer…’ I bet this happens to all authors but it’s still weird. And funny.
Funniest word in the Dictionary:
What writing advice would you NEVER give to aspiring writers?
Wear short skirts to school visits.
Jen, thanks for the rip-snorting good fun! 🐷 🐽 😅
Jen Storer is the author of the popular and highly acclaimed chapter books including the bestselling Truly Tan series, Tensy Farlow, Crystal Bay, the latest marvellous series Danny Best Full On and CBCA Notable The Fourteenth Summer of Angus Jack. Adding to her repertoire is the scrumptious new picture book, Clarrie’s Pig Day Out and soon to be released, Blue the Builder’s Dog.