FESTIVAL ALTER EGO Q&A – Katherine Webber / Wing Jones

0
55

Deadline News reviews and reports from Edinburgh Festival FringeAS PART of Deadline at the Fest, we are interviewing performers from across the month by putting 20 questions to them – both as an artist and as their stage or performance alter ego.

 

 

Katherine Webber is an exciting new author whose book Wing Jones centres on a girl caught between two cultures, who discovers the positive effects of running.
Wing’s speed could bring her family everything they want. Her story of love and hope has brought her great acclaim.
Katherine appears at the Edinburgh Book Festival at the Baillie Gifford Tent on Sunday, August 13 at 6.45pm.
Wing Jones is published by Walker.

Katherine Webber, author of Wing Jones
Photo contributed

First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
I love Edinburgh! It is one of my favourite cities to visit. I’m officially here as an author presenting at the Edinburgh Book Festival — but I’m also here to go to other events as a fan, and check out some of the Fringe comedy shows.

Does your visit bring on joy or dread?
Lots of joy! I’ve been a visitor at the Festival for the past few years and being invited to come as an author is an absolute dream come true!

Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?
I tend to be pretty positive. Especially while I’m in beautiful Edinburgh.

Where will you visit on your day off and why?
I’ll be going to as many shows and events as I can.

Do you ever get jealous of other performers? Can you name one or two?
Every children’s author probably has the same answer for this…I have to admit I wish I’d written Harry Potter! Every time I come to Edinburgh I try to go to the Elephant Cafe where JK Rowling supposedly wrote some of the books.

Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes, I was very fortunate! I grew up in sunny Southern California and always had plenty of books to read and lots to spark my imagination.

What does failure mean to you? Does it make you shrink or grow?
I’m a bit relentless when it comes to chasing my dreams—failure just inspires me to work harder.

Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?
Not really! I love doing author events—especially for young people.

What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
That the audience will get bored. I try really hard to make all of my events engaging and interesting.

What is your favourite saying?
I don’t know if it is a saying, exactly, but I love the Margaret Atwood quote “A word, after a word, after a word is power.” I actually have that quote written on a custom illustration from illustrator Chris Riddell.

What is your worst habit?
Oh, I have so many! I’m not very punctual…am working on this because I know it is so annoying!

What do you love/hate about the festival?
I love EVERYTHING about the festival! I honestly don’t hate anything about it. I’d love to see it become more accessible to young people from different backgrounds.

Tell me about your most passionate embrace.
Cheesy, but probably has to be with my husband right after he proposed! It was on the top of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong.

Do you wear knickers under your kilt?
100% yes.

Most embarrassing moment?
Ohh this is another one where there are SO many! Most recently I spilled a drink on an author I hugely admire at a party. He was incredibly gracious about it but I was mortified! And I’m not telling you who it was.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Tie between Hong Kong and London. I’ve been fortunate to live in both of my favourite cities.

Who would you be if you were not you?
In another life, I’d love to be a ballerina. I have no sense of rhythm or grace and I would love to be able to move like they do.

What Scottish delicacies do you intend to sample and, do any of them fill you with fear?
I always have haggis when I’m in Scotland—and usually enjoy it. I’m also looking forward to some seafood.

What is your greatest ambition?
Professionally, my greatest ambition is to be a best selling author with a long and successful career. Personally, my greatest ambition is to be remembered as kind.

How can we bring world peace?
Be kind when you can, and stand up for those who are in need.

Answered by Wing Jones, main character in the novel Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Reader art of young adult novel Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
Wing Jones art by Jojo Rick

First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
Edinburgh looks like something out of a fairy tale story! I’m here for the Festival, of course. I’m a runner, but I like books and comedy shows too and the Book Festival and Fringe is the perfect place for that.

Does your visit bring on joy or dread?
Joy, but I’m a little nervous too. It’s my first time travelling overseas!

Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?
I’m happy because I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.

Where will you visit on your day off and why?
I want to see everything! But I’d especially like to go up Arthur’s Seat.

Do you ever get jealous of other performers? Can you name one or two?
I’m not much of a jealous person, but as a runner, I do have lots of athletes I admire. I’d love to hang out with Simone Biles or Mo Farrah!

Did you have a happy childhood?
Mostly. Some hard things happened, but my grandmothers and my brother helped get me through it. This last year was both one of the worst and best years of my life.

What does failure mean to you? Does it make you shrink or grow?
If you fail at something, try again. Keep going. I’ll keep pushing myself till I achieve what I need to get done.

Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?
I always get nervous before a big race, but I think a little bit of nerves is a good thing. And I’m still getting used to lots of people looking at me.

What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
That people will laugh at me, and not in a nice way.

What is your favourite saying?
Gotta go with the Nike slogan—Just Do It

What is your worst habit?
I’m pretty clumsy. And I wish I wasn’t so shy.

What do you love/hate about the festival?
I love the atmosphere! I don’t hate anything about it, but I’m a little anxious around all the crowds. You’d think I’d be used to it after all the races I’ve run in!

Tell me about your most passionate embrace.
My grandmothers might read this!

Do you wear knickers under your kilt?
I don’t wear a kilt, but I absolutely wear underwear under my running clothes!

Most embarrassing moment?
I’m not going to tell you that! Just thinking about it makes me blush, I don’t want everyone to read about it. But I will tell you it has to do with a tent, a boy, and oversleeping.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Hilton Head, South Carolina. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world! And it was both where question 12 and question 14 happened. And that is the only hint you’re getting about my embrace and my most embarrassing moment!

Who would you be if you were not you?
I’m still figuring out who “me” is.

What Scottish delicacies do you intend to sample and, do any of them fill you with fear?
I’m pretty excited about the shortbread, and less excited about the haggis!

What is your greatest ambition?
Win a gold medal at the Olympics.

How can we bring world peace?
Don’t judge someone just because they look different and treat people the way you would want to be treated.

NO COMMENTS