Name: David Riley
Date of birth: 28 June 1966
Place of birth: Auckland
Now living in: Manukau
- What is your favourite food?
- KFC Hot n Spicy
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- When I was blamed for tagging a classroom and it wasn’t me but all the teachers thought it was.
- How do you relax?
- Watching sport on TV, especially NRL, the All Blacks or the NBA.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- My parents because they are really hard workers. I heard my mum and dad getting ready for work at 5.30am every day, even in the winter when it was cold, dark and wet.
- What were you like at school?
- I was curious and mischievous at primary school. I was a bit lost in year 9 and 10 and did things I regret. I loved school in years 12 and 13.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- English! I loved reading novels, plays, short stories and poetry.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- Hang On A Minute Mate by Barry Crump. It was the first book I read that had characters that reminded me of people I knew, like my Dad and his friends. Plus it’s funny.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Maya Angelou, the American author. I love her writing and her heart. I would love to spend time with her just listening to her talk about life and writing and language.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- James Patterson. He writes exciting books that have short chapters that are easy to read. He does lots of exciting things to encourage young people to read.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I like stories and I like to share stories with other people, especially stories that are inspiring in some way.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- Not really. Being a teacher and a Dad means I am so busy that I write wherever and whenever I can!
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best thing: when someone tells me they read one of my books and it affected them in a positive way.
Worst thing: I wish there were more hours in a day!
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- A theatre director, because that’s another cool and interesting way to tell stories.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Believe in yourself. I actually wanted to be a writer after reading Barry Crump’s books when I was 13. But I didn’t think I could do it. I thought writers are “famous” people, who are really talented, and have a magical gift that I don’t have. Some writers are like that. But most writers are ordinary people like me.
- I think you should love reading, because when you read you learn from other writers and get lots of ideas.
- Try lots of styles and experiment with different ways of writing. After a while you’ll find a style that you enjoy and is unique to you.
This interview is from 2016.