Hugh Lunn, author of The Big Book of Lunn
Tell us about your latest creation…
The Big Book of Lunn contains the biggest selling book ever about an Australian childhood: “Over the Top with Jim” — plus the sequel about young love in the 1960s: “Head Over Heels”.
Where are you from / where do you call home?
Born in Brisbane and live here. Spent 7 years overseas aged 23-30 as a journalist and foreign correspondent. Lived in Hong Kong, Vietnam (during War), London, Indonesia, West Papua. Went into “Red China” in 1965!
When you were a kid, what did you want to become? An author?
A radio announcer — but my voice was too husky. But now, whenever I walk into a shop or talk in a cafe people say I know that ‘voice’ from hearing me interviewed about my books.
“Over the Top with Jim” because it made enough money over the last 24 years for me to become a full-time author. Readers tell me my Vietnam and Rupert books are my best. My favourite is “The Great Fletch”.
Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?
I have a huge desk with a return with a set of shelves for books and papers behind. The third bedroom; the back toilet and the large room under the house are full of my files and ‘MS’s (manuscripts) and future book options… and my 30 years of journalism.
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?
George Orwell, because I aspire to write as clearly as him and to make such acute observations on the people I write about. Plus books about medicine and the human condition.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?
Poems mainly. Horatius Defends the Bridge was the first before I was five. And later Byron, Marvel, Pope, Tennyson etc. Browning was my favourite.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?
Winston Smith from Orwell’s 1984. In fact, sometimes I think I am Winston Smith! Because he wrote down what was really going on.
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?
I collect songs for my “State of Origin — the Musical”.
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?
A steak at Moo-Moos Wine Bar and Grill in Brisbane. A Bundaberg ginger beer.
Who is your hero? Why?
Queensland scientist Michael Good because he gave up his job running the Queensland Institute of Medical Research to try to find a cure for rheumatic fever and malaria which kill so many people in the world. And he’s on track with both.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?
Writing books that makes people laugh and cry.
Website URL: http://www.hughlunn.com.au