6 fun facts about author Shane McCarthy Shane McCarthy was our Author in Residence in the Senior School from 15-19 May 2017 and inspired our Years 7-10 English students during this time. He is a freelance writer whose work has been published by many famous internationally acclaimed comic companies. When Shane is not writing he runs a Swing Dance school with several locations around Perth and travels the world teaching Lindy Hop (Swing dancing). 1. What did you love about school? Well my favourite subject was definitely English. I loved reading and writing and the discussions in class. Numbers were no friend to me so my fondest memories of school are ones that involve me either being able to make something up or being able to talk about something I was really into. I was lucky enough to have some very encouraging teachers in my school years and it’s very clear that the students of Guildford Grammar School are lucky to have their teachers as well. 2. What do you like about being an author? Apart from being able to sleep in? Mostly it’s being able to write stories I know people are going to read. To make up characters and scenarios, lose myself in them and then ultimately see them become a finished product on the page is a dream come true. I’m incredibly passionate about storytelling so to be able to do it for a living, well, it’s not remotely work is it? 3. What or who inspires you? Watching other artists (writers, illustrators, musicians etc) create something really wonderful or enjoyable is inspiring to me. Watching people make a difference in the world around us. Passionate people. These all inspire me to tell stories and work harder at what I do. Mostly watching people trying to achieve or work in pursuit of a passion or their dreams, that’s truly inspiring. 4. What is your writing Kryptonite? Simplicity. I’m often getting caught up in the intricacies of plot and need to work hard on being simpler and clearer with my message and theme. Conveying a message and a clear emotion to the audience is 14 something I work hardest to nail. Also new Playstation games, they can REALLY get in the way of my writing. 5. What attracted you to swing dancing? The sheer joy and athleticism of it. I’d never see a dance that people so clearly loved before. All the dances I’d seen up to that point looked like people were taking themselves far too seriously. With Swing dancing it’s pure joy in motion. Plus you get to dance REALLY fast if you want to. 6. What advice would you give your 17 year old self? Take it easy. Chill out. Take your time. I think I was really worried about a lot of things when I was 17. I had everyone around me telling me I had to make a lot of really intense, important decisions about my life and it freaked me out. I didn’t know I wanted to become an Author until I was 25 so, I’d tell myself that it’s all going to be okay and that I don’t need to worry so much. That doesn’t mean slack off or don’t try, just don’t worry so much.