Five Things You Might Not Know About Annabel Smith

As told by Brooke Davis

One thing you might not know about me is that I really like lists. I like the way they trick me into thinking I’ve achieved something. I plot my every move so I can draw smug lines through each point at the end of every day.

For example:
1.    Open eyes.
2.    Pull back doona cover.
3.    Sit on edge of bed for a bit.
4.    Yawn obnoxiously.
5.    Walk to fridge.
6.    Sniff the milk.
7.    Write to do list.
8.    And so on.

So when Laurie asked me to write a list of Five Things You Didn’t Know About Annabel Smith, I was understandably thrilled. But when we met up and started talking, I knew I couldn’t stop at just one list. So here they are, my friends: three lists of five things you may or may not know about Annabel Smith (it’s not as confusing as it sounds, promise).

Five Things I Didn’t Know We Had In Common Till Annabel Smith & I Went For Coffee
1.    We don’t drink coffee.
2.    We’re middle children.
3.    We have two brothers.
4.    We call our very grown-up younger brothers, ‘my little brother’.  
5.    We have the same taste in food—we inadvertently ordered the same dish as each other.

Five Things I Didn’t Know About Annabel Smith (And You May Not Either)
1.    Amanda Curtin (whose most recent novel, Elemental, was shortlisted for the 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards) was her first ever editor.
2.    At her first writers’ festival, she was so excited she had to take Valium to get to sleep every night.
3.    Alison Lester once asked Annabel’s opinion on a drawing she had done on a plane vomit bag.
4.    Her son calls Tony Abbott ‘Tony’s A Butt’.
5.    One of her first ever crushes was on Michael J. Fox when he was in Back To The Future. She cut out a picture of him from Smash Hits with her craft scissors, covered it in contact and put it in her diary so she could look at it every day. Most recently, she took her son to see Thor and developed a crush on Chris Hemsworth. Which I think most of us can understand.

Five Things You Might Already Know About Annabel Smith (But That I’ll Remind You Of Anyway)
1.    She’s the author of three novels: A New Map of the Universe (2005), Whisky Charlie Foxtrot (2012), and her latest, The Ark (2014).
2.    All three novels deal with mental health issues.
3.    Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot was shortlisted for Small Press Network’s ‘Most Underrated Book Award’ and is being published in the US this April as Whiskey and Charlie. When she was reading the edits from her US publisher, she says she heard their changes (like ‘trashcan’) as an American voiceover in her head.
4.    Her latest novel, The Ark, is accompanied by an app she developed herself. She was inspired in part by the Miranda July website prompts and wanted to provide a way for readers to respond creatively and interactively to the book.
5.    She’s now working on a book that’s structured around the concept of a self-help book (I’m hoping there might be something in there for people who write too many lists).

Brooke Davis’ debut novel Lost and Found was published in June 2014 and has reached international acclaim. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Curtin University and will be featured in the upcoming Griffith Review 47: Looking West.

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