Date of birth: 13 November, 1932
Date of death: 16 July 2011
Place of birth: Tokomaru Bay
What is your favourite food?
Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Receiving a patu paraoa as a gift of honour "before I died".
How do you relax?
Who inspired you when you were little?
My dad - who told wonderful stories.
What were you like at school?
Loved every minute.
What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
Found every subject fascinating.
What was the book you most loved as a child?
We had no books. I read the Children’s Corner in my mother’s English Women’s Weekly.
Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
Hine-I-paea - who allowed herself to be taken as a slave-wife by Pomare after he had killed both her husband and father. She came to love him. How was she able to transcend the violence?
Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
Why did you want to be a writer?
To cement the ideas and stories which grew out of my personal experiences.
Do you have a special place where you write your books?
At my computer in the corner of my bedroom.
What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
Reading my own writing and enjoying it is the best thing.
Reading earlier works and wishing I could trash them is the worst thing.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write for your own stimulation and pleasure before all else.
This interview is from 2002.