Rosanne Hawke is the author of Dear Pakistan, The War Within, Finding Kerra, Liana's Dance and Zenna Dare. Find out more about Rosanne
1) What inspired you to write the Beyond Borders series?
My children and I played a story game which resulted in me telling a story they wanted. One night my teenage daughter Lenore asked for an adventure set in Afghanistan. An aid worker we knew had been kidnapped there and held hostage in a village. ‘Tell a story like that,’ she said, ‘with a girl like me, teashops, carpets, a nice freedom fighter …’ Afterwards, she told me to write it. ‘I want a book like that, Mum.’ This inspired the beginning of my writing career. That story became The War Within, book 2 of Beyond Borders. My daughter made me a writer and still inspires many of the stories I write. We’ve even written two picture books together. The latest is Chandani and the Ghost of the Forest.
2) How do you come up with your characters?
I meet my characters, knowing full well that they have a backstory before they walk onto my page and they will go on with their lives at the end of my story. To get to know them I use mind maps and discover everything I can about them. To write their story I have to know details and especially what they want to do, what they are scared of, what special talents they have, and flaws that need addressing. These major topics help with goal, motivation and conflict in the story to such an extent that it is actually my character who writes the story for me. Choices about voice, point of view, emotion, setting and tone are made by the character. What do I have to do? Trust and listen, be faithful to the characters and their story, and write it truthfully
3) Who is your favourite character in Finding Kerra, the 3rd in the Beyond Borders series?
I find questions about favourites difficult as I like all my characters or they probably wouldn’t be in my story. But Kerra does have a special place in my heart. As a young child she suffered trauma that she has remembered incorrectly, as we all so often do. We believe lies. This has affected Kerra’s definition of herself and how she relates to others, especially her brother. It takes Jaime’s storytelling, care and prayer to help unlock the lies to let healing begin.
4) Tell us 3 interesting things about yourself
I travelled to primary school in a converted cattle truck (the bus) to attend the one-teacher school in Banana, a hot, little town in Queensland’s semi-outback.
Snow leopards are my favourite animal and I have adopted one to keep it living safely in the wild.
I have held an AK 47 Kalashnikov at a remote police post in Kala Dhaka, (Black Mountain) in Northern Pakistan. It was very heavy and when I asked where you press the trigger, the man who had handed it to me instantly hit the ground. He didn’t tell me it was loaded! It was taken from me before I could accidently fire it
5) What was your favourite children's book growing up?
One of my favourites was The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, except I suspect it was rewritten for a younger audience. I rarely reread books, but this one I did many times. I enjoyed the protective way Miles cared for Prince Edward when the prince and the pauper swapped places. The prince decided to work for justice when he saw how the poor lived and so did I.