What book would you take on a desert island and why?
A book about how to survive on a desert island – for obvious reasons.
Which of your characters would you be best friends with and why?
Emos Harprag from The Archisan Tales. He’s wise, well-travelled and he’d have some good stories… and he can change into all sorts of cool shapes.
What was your favourite book as a child?
It would be impossible to pick one. At a push, I’d go for either The Lord Of The Rings or There’s A Wocket In My Pocket
What book do you wish you’d written/illustrated?
Which actor would you like to play you in a movie biopic?
Denzel Washington; but he’d have to pretend to be a white Irishman.
When you were a child what did you want to do when you were grownup?
What do you wish you were good/better at?
Everything. But particularly: painting, drawing, writing, sports, playing musical instruments and faith healing.
Where’s your favourite place?
The Wicklow Mountains or my bed, depending on my mood.
What couldn’t you live without?
Air, water, food, human contact and a habitable environment… and a notepad and pen.
Who would you want to be stuck in a lift with?
That would be a toss-up between Robin Williams and somebody who’s good at climbing up elevator cables.
What’s your favourite TV show?
Channel 4 News.
What’s your favourite food?
Bread with a suitable accompaniment.
Where do you write?
I have a studio in my house, with two stand-up desks: one for illustration work and one for my computer gear. I also like to get out and sit in a café or somewhere quiet outside with my notebook.
Do you have any lucky writer’s charms or writing quirks?
I normally type standing up, I tend to do a few sketches or illustrations even for books that won’t be illustrated (see my website at www.oisinmcgann.com) and I don’t let anyone see a story until it’s done… ever.
What other jobs have you done?
I’ve been a security guard, a hospital porter, a DIY salesman, I’ve worked on the chicken and fish counters at a supermarket, I’ve been a pizza chef, an advertising art director and copy writer, a background layout designer for an animation company and I’ve drawn or painted on most anything that stays still at one time or another.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
You’re doing what you love every day.
What’s the worst?
It’s an unstable life and you have to spend almost as much time on the business of promoting and selling books as you do on the writing.
Which of your own books is your favourite?
It’s always the one I’m working on at the moment.
Which author/illustrator (living or dead) would you most like to meet?
I’ve never really wanted to meet any of my favourite authors or illustrators, but I’d say you could have a really good conversation with Roald Dahl.
If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
Given the right life-support systems, I’d go and watch the Big Bang.