Interview with the author, Anna Ciddor

Q: How did someone living in Australia come to write a series about Vikings in ancient Norway?

A: As a writer Iím always on the look-out for anything that will make an interesting story. Reading about Viking people, finding out about their beliefs in magic and witches, and finding out that they got rid of girl babies if they didnít want themÖgave me the idea for Runestone.

Q: Does that mean some of the story is true?  

Definitely. The Vikings were real people who lived over a thousand years ago.  I found out everything I could about Viking clothes, houses, etc as well as researching the kinds of animals and plants that were around at that time. Vikings really had runestones; they truly believed in witches and shape-changing. Virtually everything that happens in Viking Magic is based on real Viking beliefs and lifestyle.


Q: Have your books won any awards?

A:  Runestone has been shortlisted for the YABBA (VIC), KOALA (NSW), KANGA (SA) and COOL (ACT) Childrenís Choice Book Awards, the WAYRBA (WA Young Readers' Book Awards) and in 2003 was selected by the judges of the Children's Book Council of Australia as a Notable Book .

In 2004 Runestone was included on the list of the '150 most treasured Victorian books' published in the past 150 years, as selected by the Australian Council for Youth Literature.

So far, in 2005, Stormriders has been shortlisted for the WAYRBA.


Q: Could you please tell us some biographical details to use for school projects.

A: I was born in 1957 and I have lived in Melbourne, Australia all my life. I have two sisters and when we were all young, we shared a room. I used to make up bedtime stories pretending we were all fairies and I was the (bossy) fairy queen.
When I had my own two children I was inspired to change career from being a maths teacher to writing and illustrating children's books. Daniel and Elissa are now grown up, but I have two grandchildren who continue to inspire me and read my manuscripts. I pay a lot of attention to their criticisms and suggestions. I also get help from students that I meet on my school visits.
My husband, Gary, is an engineer. We go for walks together every night Ė I think weíve worn a track in the footpaths around our home. We discuss the stories Iím working on, and he helps me sort out problems.
When Iím not writing, Iím usually reading or listening to other peopleís books. I borrow hundreds of audio books from the library and I have a wireless headset so I can wander round the house listening to stories while I vacuum, cook, do the ironing or whatever! When my family wants to talk to me they have to go and turn off my tape player first.

My first book, Take Me Back, was published in 1989. I have written and illustrated 56 books.
Hope this information is useful. Good luck with your projects!

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