Children’s Author Libby Gleeson : The Writer’s Studio

Libby Gleeson is one of Australia’s most respected and awarded children’s book authors. She has written everything from picture books like Amy and Louis to Young Adult novels like Mahtab’s Story. Libby is a great advocate for children’s authors and Australian children’s literature so it is very fitting to celebrate Children’s Book Week by having her in The Writer’s Studio. Here is a little peek into Libby’s process and writing space…

Where did I write my last book?
All done in the small space left after papers and junk have taken over my desk. All done on computer.

How important is the place where I write?
I write best at my desk. Sometimes when it’s not going well I migrate to the kitchen table or to the sunshine outside but it never works.

Children’s author Libby Gleeson at work in her office.

Do you get into character at all?
Not physically but very much mentally. I try to take on the persona: thoughts, actions, voice of whoever I’m writing about.

How has the place where you write evolved or changed?
I wrote my first novel on a tiny desk in a London flat. Then my second on the kitchen table in Newtown and then a number of desks in our house in Petersham. Now it’s on my fabulous huge desk here (in Petersham) but gradually books and papers from everything else I do keep invading and reproducing all over the place. Now it’s the equivalent of that tiny desk in London.

Do you keep regular writing hours?
Theoretically yes – 9 to 5 but the reality is that’s only sometimes. It’s any time in the day- usually about 9 to 3ish – and never at night.

Do you have a morning ritual?
Coffee, the Sydney Morning Herald, stretching at the gym so I can sit down for hours without a crook neck and then I start.

Check back next week for another children’s author in The Writer’s Studio.


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