Children’s book Author Alison Lester says that for her, the lure of the outdoors is endlessly enchanting and that her desire to be outside, walking, riding her horse or gardening is always at odds with the hard work of creating the books she has become renowned for.
“I really like life so much that I find it hard to sit at my desk, “she said.
“I think that is what gives the books their richness, I am so connected to that world, I think if I sat inside the books wouldn’t be as interesting.”
Ms Lester who will be making her first visit to Broken this weekend to celebrate the opening of friend Johnathan Cooper’s The Broken Hill Bookshop, said that she is excited to see a part of Australia she has not spent time in before.
“Hopefully I will have a chance to do some exploring, I am actually in the middle of getting a book finished so I am sneaking out for this one…I am not telling my daughter because she is my publisher.”
Jonathan Cooper who, before moving to Broken Hill managed the Alison Lester bookshop in Fish Creek Victoria said he is very pleasantly surprised how well-known Alison is up here.
“A lot of her books are based around the beach, and because she is from South Gippsland, I was surprised how well known she is even up here.”
“So many people come in and just love her books and people are really excited about her visiting on the weekend.”
Ms Lester’s popularity is in her ability to capture the imaginations of children and adults alike. The rich worlds she creates are filled with observations, details and illuminations in which characters curiosity allows them to see the world with more than what appears on the surface.
“My kids always tease me because I will say oh my god, look at the life on that hill,” she said.
“I think I am so interested in the natural world, wherever I am, I am keenly looking at the landscape, the bush and the animals that are in it.”
Ms Lester said that her books have unconsciously followed and been shaped by her life and experiences. She said that in her first book Clive Eats Alligators (1985), which she wrote about when her children were young, she was struck by how much young children are at the centre of their own universe and how that makes their differences pronounced in ways that make them incredibly unique.
“The house could have been burning down and they would have stayed there doing their own thing.”
“It’s a book where kids can celebrate themselves and the differences that make them special instead of all trying to fit in, they can just be their own person.”
Ms Lester said that as her children aged, she began subconsciously moving with them, writing books for all the way up to 15-year-olds.
“Once I had grandchildren, I went back to doing books for little kids again.”
“The first book I did after having grandchildren was called the very noisy baby which was inspired by one of them who was very loud.”
Alison Lester will be opening the Broken Hill Bookshop, signing books and meeting all curious minds, today Saturday 26th March from 11am.