Interview with Maria Samuela

Book Cover of The Secret Game PlanName: Maria Samuela

Date of birth: 12 July 1972

Place of birth: Wellington, New Zealand

Now living in: Christchurch

What is your favourite food?

Island food, and Big Macs

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I used to stand behind a keyboard and sing in a band. After introducing the band at one of our gigs the M.C. turned to the stage to return the microphone. I was closest so I moved forward to retrieve the mike. As I did my foot caught the wire that connected my keyboard to the powerpoint and I tumbled clumsily across the stage as my keyboard did a backflip through a flutter of songsheets! Nothing prepared me for the stunned silence that swept over the audience in that instant, or the sudden raucous outburst that followed!

How do you relax?


Who inspired you when you were little?

When I was about nine my Mum bought me a set of children’s books about famous people in history. Included in this set was a book called The Value of Courage that told the story of Jackie Robinson - America’s first professional black baseball player. Despite being ridiculed and mistreated by people who felt he shouldn’t play professional sport because he was black, Jackie courageously persevered and became one of the world’s top ball players. Jackie Robinson inspired me to believe in myself and my dreams, and to have the courage to keep going when the going got tough.

What were you like at school?

Pretty good. I liked school and worked hard.

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Favourite subject English. Most Hated subject P.E.

What was the book you most loved as a child?

The Value of Courage, by Spencer Johnson

Which person from the past would you most like to meet?

Jesus. He’s the most intriguing character in history I've ever read.

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?

Some of the authors who inspired me to write include Albert WendtPatricia Grace, opens a new window and Witi Ihimaera because I can relate to their characters and their characters' worlds, and I never get sick of re-reading their work.

Why did you want to be a writer?

To create, inspire, entertain, empower, inform…

Do you have a special place where you write your books?

I write in the corner of my flat that overlooks the sea.

What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?

Best thing being read. Worst thing being read, only once, and the money!

If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?

An aspiring writer.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read a lot, write a lot, and believe in yourself!!!

Read some books by Maria Samuela

This interview is from 2005.

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