With cHEwY bear and Benji Marshall

Send your questions to oliver@oliverwriter.com and I’ll answer them here.

How old are you?

Apparently this is one of the most frequent questions asked on Google, lol. I’m currently 40 in human years but my heart is still 15 years old. My birthday is 18th April 1983.

Where did you go to school?

I went to Canley Vale PS and Hoxton Park HS. 

Who were your favourite authors as a kid?

I read everything that Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman wrote back then. I also blitzed through Roald Dahl’s books too.

Who are your favourite authors now?

Morris Gleitzman is still up there. I love everything Andy Griffiths does. Jeff Kinnely (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) is pretty cool too. I’m also a big fan of R.A Spratt and Kate and Jol Temple.

What are your favourite books?

The Tomorrow When the War Began Series by John Marsden is still my all time fave. All 7 books were amazing, along with the extra 3 in the Ellie Chroncles.

Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein, Misery Guts by Morris Gleitzman and the Just series by Andy Griffiths are books I can read over and over again.

What music do you like listening to?

All time faves: Westlife, John Mayer, Eminem, The Bee Gees, Madonna, Matchbox 20, Maroon 5, One Direction, Lil Wayne, Drake, Justin Bieber

More recently: LANY, Lauv, Jonas Brothers, 

Favourite movies?

When Harry Met Sally, The Matrix, The Game, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Serpendity, Fierce Creatures, District 9, Inception, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Mad Max:Fury Road, The Lego Movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Inside Out, Logan, King Kong: Skull Island, Avengers: End Game.

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All time fave video games?

I’ve been a lifelong Nintendo fan…I have everything from the NES (the original one, not that mini classic) all the way to the Switch. My favourite consoles are the Gamecube and Wii U (google them up, they are classics haha)

I also have an Xbox for other games that I can’t get on Nintendo consoles…COD, Halo and those cool first person shooters. 

Sonic The Hedgehog games (especially the older ones, I like the new ones too, but they’re not as good haha)

Super Mario Brothers 3, Skies of Arcadia (Nintendo Gamecube/Wii), Pokemon White, Advance Wars Series, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart series, Zelda, 

More recently, Advance Wars 2, Xenoblade 3, Pokemon Go (Level 41 baby!)


Favourite food?

Burgers, pizza, hot chips and ramen.

Favourite sports?

Handball (yes, it’s a sport!), soccer and basketball. But I love watching cricket and the NRL. I also like jogging and ran my first marathon in 2015 and again in 2017.

What teams do you support?

NRL: Wests Tigers, AFL: Greater Western Sydney Giants, EPL: Crystal Palace, A-League: Western Sydney Wanderers, Big Bash League: Sydney Thunder. 

Where do you get all your ideas from?

I feed my imagination with loads of reading. I love reading all sorts of books, so it equips me with all tools I need to write. I also borrow ideas from my friends, kids I teach and just random things I see out on public. Try catching a train and not leaving without some piece of juicy dialogue or seeing a weird guy (don’t talk to these weirdos though hehe).

What was your first book?

Thai-riffic! was my first book, which came out back in 2010!

Where were you born?

Australia mate, I was born in Sydney. Auburn Hospital to be exact.

Where do you live?

I live in Western Sydney haha

Do you ever get writers block?

No, not yet-knock on wood 🙂

Do you have any brothers and sisters?

Yes, I have a younger sister named Anna. 

Got any writing tips?

Yeah, write heaps and write often-it doesn’t matter what you write, if it makes you happy then keep writing…enter comps to gain cred, read heaps of books to get ideas for your own, copy styles that you like so you can grow as a writer, check out Publishers websites because some of them want YOUR stories! And it doesn’t matter how old or young you are-YOUR TIME IS NOW!



  • Trackback: Award Winning Author Oliver Phommavanh Visits Cabra | Cabra College Library Blog
  • Alisha & Akon Posted July 31, 2019 2:20 am

    We are students from St Joseph’s Primary School (Kingswood). We are really looking forward to your visit tomorrow. Our teachers are reading ‘Super Con-nerd’ with us to build the excitement. See you soon.

  • Ollie Posted August 9, 2019 7:22 am

    Hi St Joseph’s! Sorry for the late reply, I had fun at your school 🙂

  • Kas Posted August 16, 2019 9:00 am

    Hi Oliver. I love your books so much that I am doing an assignment on you. Could you me tell us what your author style in as much detail is as possible? THx. Also are making a new book?

  • liilie Posted September 9, 2019 2:28 am

    why did you talk about patting turtles

  • tony Posted September 9, 2019 2:42 am

    why do you like petting turtles while eating spaggeti

  • Ollie Posted September 10, 2019 4:43 am

    Yes I am definitely working on a new book! As for author style, check out one of my books 🙂

  • Dimitri Posted September 17, 2019 12:16 pm

    Loved the visit you had to wattle Grove I hope to see you again

  • Ollie Posted September 17, 2019 12:19 pm

    Thanks! I had fun too 🙂

  • Zac Posted September 18, 2019 12:04 am

    How come you support Crystal Palace?

    Also, I’m from Scotch and thank you for visiting our school.

  • Dimitri Posted September 18, 2019 7:24 am

    Loved the visit to wattle grove

  • Keval Posted October 8, 2019 4:16 am

    Hey, what about Wentworthvile PS

  • Unknown Posted October 14, 2019 3:24 am

    Hey, I was wondering for my school project, how much do you weigh?

  • Ollie Posted October 14, 2019 3:28 am

    57kg 🙂

  • Ollie Posted October 14, 2019 3:29 am

    I support Crystal Palace because they’re the best team in the EPL 🙂

  • Cally Posted October 15, 2019 4:07 am

    When did you start writing

  • Cally Posted October 15, 2019 4:10 am

    *I need it for a school project

  • Cara Posted October 15, 2019 4:15 am

    I was wondering when you started writing (I need it for school so please reply soon)

  • Dick Posted October 15, 2019 4:19 am

    Please will you tell me when you started writing (Fast)

  • Ollie Posted October 15, 2019 5:38 am

    I started writing back in 2009

  • Ollie Posted October 15, 2019 5:38 am


  • Robert V Posted October 16, 2019 12:28 am

    Hey Oliver, I’m doing a school project on you, but I can’t find any information about your family life and vital statistics, which I need to complete the task. Thanks! Please reply soon.

  • Ollie Posted October 16, 2019 12:35 am

    What would u like to know? The Q and A place or reading my history/biography page should answer most of your questions. Good luck with the project!

  • Robert V Posted October 16, 2019 5:32 am

    I just need info about who is in your family, I couldn’t find anything in the Q&A page. Thanks a lot! The people in my class are going crazy because you replied to me.

  • Ollie Posted October 16, 2019 5:36 am

    My family just has my parents and my sister 🙂

  • Emily C Posted October 16, 2019 5:38 am

    Hi Oliver. I am doing a project but I am not quite sure when you started writing books. It would be great if you told me the year, thanks 😊

  • Sick Posted October 16, 2019 5:39 am

    Hi what school did you use to go to

  • Sick Posted October 16, 2019 5:40 am

    Hey Oliver in doing a project on you just don’t know what book to do

  • Mia Posted October 16, 2019 5:40 am

    When were did you actually start writing because you said 2009, 2008 and 2007

  • Charlie M Posted October 16, 2019 5:43 am

    Can you please come to St. Peter’s Perth Inglewood

  • Rosie Posted October 16, 2019 5:43 am

    Is this face ur favourite? :🙂

  • Ollie Posted October 17, 2019 1:58 am

    Officially it was 2007, but I did it full time in 2008/09. Either of those 3 years would be correct tbh

  • Ollie Posted October 17, 2019 1:58 am

    Hmmm, ask your teacher or librarian to contact me. I am always keen to visit Perth!

  • Mix-Movie.com Posted October 21, 2019 9:08 am

    Haha, you forgot to exclude teacher, which is my other job hehe. But apart from teaching, I’d like to be a video games journalist, writing about games for magazines and websites. Being paid to play games is still a dream for me!

  • Donna Thompson Posted October 25, 2019 5:32 am

    What is your favourite food? What is one thing you dislike?

  • Eileen Posted October 26, 2019 4:09 am

    Hi Oliver,

    I loved Natural Born Loser! It really lets people know how the characters might have felt at the time. The text and scenes in the book itself are so realistic that you think you’re actually one of the characters like Raymond or Zain or Randa or Mr Humble. Overall, I love this book! It teaches me one simple lesson: You can only achieve your goals if you always believe in yourself and if you are determined. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the wrong mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” In the book Raymond worked hard to keep up his reputation in the school by keeping his promise of getting new air cons. He worked really hard to fulfill his promise and using fun events as fundraisers. I believe he had a goal and truly worked really hard for it. In the end, when he finally achieved his goal, I felt really happy for him. 😀🤩🥳😆✌🏻👏🏻🤜🏻🤛🏻

    I would love if you could come to our school, Dulwich College, but I’m afraid it’s in Singapore. It’s a very British school. There are Dulwich Colleges (currently 12 of them but we are still building 3 new ones and still hatching plans for other new ones) everywhere around the world. (But I’m afraid there aren’t any in Australia but I think they just might be making plans for one in Melbourne.) The Dulwich College in London, where it’s been founded, is 400 years old! It was founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn. Anyway, our school is amazing! We have tons of author talks every year!

    Everyone would love to have you here, I’m sure, especially our fantastic Junior School librarian, Mrs Mounsey!

  • Milana K Posted November 12, 2019 9:13 am

    Did you like wheelers hill primary school? I know my friend David emailed you!

  • Julie McGuirk Posted November 13, 2019 4:48 am

    Hi Oliver,
    We have just received the CBCA Travelling suitcase of you at St Nicholas School, Tamworth, NSW, Country Music Capitol and we are loving it.
    We are just wondering how to correctly pronouce your surname please. Thankyou

  • Ollie Posted November 13, 2019 5:15 am

    Hello St Nicholas!
    It’s pronounced Pom-a-van 🙂
    Enjoy the suitcase, and maybe someday I can come and visit you!

  • Ollie Posted November 13, 2019 5:15 am

    Yep! Loved it!

  • Ollie Posted November 13, 2019 5:16 am

    Hello Eileen! Thanks for your kind words! I would love to come and visit Dulwich College in 2020, let your teacher librarian know!

  • Ollie Posted November 13, 2019 5:19 am

    I love burgers. I don’t like Tofu

  • Ollie Posted November 13, 2019 5:19 am

    Same here haha

  • John Posted February 27, 2020 5:43 am

    Oliver, when was your first stand-up comedy act? also I am doing an assignment on your best book, Thai-Riffic!

  • Ollie Posted February 27, 2020 6:26 am

    Hey John, first gig was back in 2001 haha. Good luck with the project

  • Ollie Posted February 27, 2020 6:27 am

    Start with Thai-riffic or Con-nerd 🙂

  • Ollie Posted February 27, 2020 6:27 am

    Canley Vale PS

  • Jono Posted March 15, 2020 6:37 am

    Hi Oliver, how many countries have you been to

  • Ollie Posted March 17, 2020 1:06 am

    I’ve been to 37 so far 🙂

  • TANUSH Posted April 12, 2020 5:05 am

    Are you writing a new book?

    Wentwothville ps

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