Where were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born in Melbourne and I still live in Melbourne.Where did you go to school?
I went to Immaculate Heart of Mary Primary School and to Presentation College Windsor Secondary school.Did you have a nickname?
Piggy — it was used with love!What were you like in school?
I really loved school, but I didn’t like getting up early in the morning. I liked to make people laugh. I loved art and drawing up characters. I also loved reading and writing poetry and stories, especially horror stories — we acted them out with costumes and sound effects and I had a big group of friends.
I was a bit rebellious and I lead a protest and picketed against cutting up a frog in Science class. I sometimes tried to get away with wearing thongs instead of school shoes and wore big guitar pick psychedelic earrings that were confiscated from me every week.
Apparently I was always looking out the window far away ... so I guess I was a dreamer, too.What is the naughtiest thing you did?
I put stink bombs in one of my teacher’s bags and sprayed her flowers with detergent. Terrible really! I saw her many years later and she said I was the perfect student and she knew I would always be a writer and illustrator.What was your favourite book growing up? The Magic Faraway Tree
.Who is your favourite children’s author?
Roald Dahl. He might even be stranger than I am.What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
Am I boring because I love salads and fruit and vegetables? My favourite junk food is pizza. I can eat a lot of pizza. I could probably win a pizza eating contest because I can eat more pizza than my husband and he is nearly twice my size. I love all colours and I can’t pick a favourite movie — I have too many favourites. I’ll tell you two of my favourite stories — Wuthering Height
s and Rebecca
.Who inspired you to write/illustrate?
The British illustrator, Arthur Rackham. How did you get started?
I did a series of illustrations and sent them to a few different publishers and luckily got a call back straight away.How old were you?
I was in my early thirties. I was a late starter. Don’t give up on your dreams.Why did you want to be a writer/illustrator?
I never really wanted to do anything else and I’ve been drawing since I was three. I am obsessed with fairytales and fables. I just love going into those other worlds where books take you.How do you think up ideas?
Everything around me gives me ideas. People I meet, my family, movies, the sound of the rain or a windy day. Everything inspires me, but my greatest inspiration is trees and nature itself. I constantly draw sketches of ideas for a character or words for a story. I have notebooks full of ideas. I’m not a big sleeper.Do you have a special place where you write/illustrate?
I do have a studio in my home but I tend to write anywhere and draw anywhere where there is something to lean on. I do work best when I am alone.What is the best thing about being a writer/illustrator?
There are so many great things about doing what I do but the best is being able to stay a child forever.Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer/illustrator?
When I talk to school groups there is always a time when everyone can ask me questions about my work and books and somehow a lot of the time, the little ones are more interested in if I live in a castle or tree and what I had for lunch.What do you do when you are not writing/illustrating?
I like to tell fortunes, watch a lot of movies, cook, dance in the garden with the fairy folk, spend time with my daughter and go travelling with my family.What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer/illustrator?
I always wanted to do screams for horror movies. I love movies or I would have chosen to be a witch. Sometimes I look like a witch already!Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?
Emily Bronte, she is my favourite writer and our birthdays are on the same day.Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
Yes, sometimes I prefer to have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Also, I wish I lived in another time, in the past like the 1920s. Maybe I did because I seem to have a lot of 1920s-style clothes and hats. I might write a story about that.Website/blog detailswww.annapignataro.com
Please write to me. I am putting together a new website but write to me on this one for now because I love getting letters.