Don't sit back and wait for God to do it all. Ask for His advice, but be prepared to do the hard yards yourself.
At around nine or 10 years of age, young people start to decide for themselves what's moral or not, and that's why I like writing for that age group so much.
I think the best writers use the language they use every day when they talk to friends. When we talk to each other, we tend to talk in short grabs rather than in long flowing sentences. I think that's not a bad way to write.
In 1969, we emigrated to Australia. It was a big change. The heat, the flies, and the completely different tinned meats. The shock was so great, I stopped reading books for nearly a year.
I've always been interested in setting my stories against a big event, the importance of which my younger readers are slowly becoming aware of as they move into their teens.
Although my stories are all very different on the surface, I like to write stories about characters struggling with big problems. I'm always reminded, no matter how different from me one of my characters is from me on the surface, how we're all pretty much the same underneath.
The type of stories I write are about young people grappling with the biggest problems in their lives, often problems that are bigger than they're actually capable of solving.
Kids aren't political, but around 10 years old, they are beginning to develop the moral grounding that might later, in their teens, develop into their first real political perspectives.
Melbourne is my type of city, much more so than Sydney.
I like to write stories where young people have a strong feeling about something being fair or unfair, right or wrong, cruel or kind, and they act on the basis of that - often in the face of the prevailing limits of behaviour.
I think, to be a successful author, you've got to be part recluse and part show-off.
Most of your life after puberty, you're either seeking to reproduce or living with the consequences of having done so. At 70, you start going back to being 11 again.
I used to get stuck trying to find the first sentence of a story, then I realised that it was often because I didn't know what problem a character was facing in the story. As soon as I did, I could have the character trying to do something about it or have the problem whack him between the eyes.