Name: Geoffrey Cox
Date of birth: 20 January 1952
Place of birth: England
Now living in: Rotorua
- What is your favourite food?
- Pizza (when I make it myself).
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- Too embarrassed to tell you.
- How do you relax?
- I paint and draw (I do a comic strip for fun) tramping, kayaking, listening to music, going to ballets and operas.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- Peter Scott (a wildlife author, artist and TV personality), David Attenborough.
- What were you like at school?
- Quiet, shy, good at art, terrible at spelling, not very good at maths, bad at sport.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Favourite: Art, Biology, English (after age 14).
Most hated: Languages, Maths.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- Don’t know. I was very fond of a book called Animals of East Africa, which was the first book I saved up for and bought with my own pocket money. I still have it.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- No one springs to mind.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- I don’t really have favourites. I usually enjoy books by George MacDonald Fraser, and I like the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I’m not really certain. I think I just like taking lots of information and re-presenting it in what I feel is a more logical, easier to understand way. Some books I have written so I can find out more about the subject.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- I usually work in my studio (where I am now) which looks out over Lake Rotorua and is very peaceful. However I can work almost anywhere - once the words are sorted in my mind, I don’t need a special place to put them on paper.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best thing: Being your own boss, having free time when you want it, doing what you want to do.
Worst thing: Working alone; always worrying if there will be another job after this one, not usually earning very much.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- A research scientist, working outdoors on animal research, perhaps in a country in Africa. Or maybe a palaeontologist, specialising in dinosaurs.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Get lots of practice before you try writing for a living. I was good at writing when I left school, but it was really working for seven years as a copywriter for a medical publishing and advertising agency that made me a really confident writer.
This interview is from 2002.