Atom-smashing Fremantle Press author Cristy Burne is ready for adventure with her latest book
Cristy Burne’s new book Off the Track is published today. Here, she explains why social media can be a bad habit, why the great outdoors features heavily in her stories and why rainy-day walks are the best kind of walks.
Off the Track is the second of your books to feature a local nature spot. Why do you use these settings?
I love to tell stories that our children can identify with. It’s super exciting to be able to picture exactly where a story is happening and, in this case, that’s not New York or London, it’s Western Australia. I love to write adventures that happen outside, in the fresh air and among the trees, because I want to encourage children and families to get outside and reconnect with nature.
Using social media conflicts with exploring and getting outdoors in this book. Why do you think it’s important to send a message like that to younger readers these days?
Social media can be hugely useful and powerful, but it can also sap your ability to be in the moment. You can spend valuable time thinking about how other people live their lives, instead of living yours.
Do you think more kids should be bugging their parents to take them exploring in the wilderness?
If your kid is bugging you for more time exploring in the wilderness, then you have it easy. Just say “Okay honey” and make it happen.
Most times, it’s up to parents to dredge up the energy and vision to drive the adventure, and that can be difficult when you’ve had a huge week and all you want to do is sit on the couch.
Where is your favourite place to explore the wilderness in WA?
I love the Bibbulmun Track, so it’s no surprise that this is the setting for Off the Track. The Bibb is so long, you can experience all kinds of wilderness across many different parts of WA.
Sometimes the weather isn’t very nice and outside seems like a bad idea. What’s your preferred rainy-day activity?
Sometimes, if we need a walk and the weather’s awful, we just throw on raincoats and go for a walk anyway. Our dog hates being wet, but the kids are still thrilled by enormous puddles and overflowing drains. Plus wet walks that end with a hot shower are fabulous.
Photo: Jayme Lee Photography