Interview with Maurice Gee

Name: Maurice GeeMaurice Gee

Date of birth: 22 August, 1931

Place of birth: Whakatane

Now living in: Wellington

What is your favourite food?
Potatoes, in any form, but especially roasted. I also like porridge.
Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
When I was young people called me 'Moss' or 'Mossie'. It comes from Maurice.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
There are hundreds. Once, at a party at Premier House, I said to a lady I was talking to, 'I don’t think I know your name.' It was the hostess, Mrs Bolger. (wife of the then Prime Minister, Jim Bolger - ed)
How do you relax?
Reading. Walking.
Who inspired you when you were little?
My father, a real man’s man and a champion boxer. Also my grandfather, a pacifist who was sent to prison for his beliefs.
What were you like at school?
Top of the class at primary. Bottom at secondary. I worked my way back.
What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
Favourite: English. I loved reading.
Most hated: none, but I was no good at maths and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t understand.
What was the book you most loved as a child?
A collection of Robin Hood stories. I loved the adventures and narrow escapes - also the idea of robbing the rich to give to the poor.
Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
A French writer called Voltaire. He’s my great hero. I'd have to learn to speak French though.
Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
Charles Dickens. He’s good for adults and older children too.
Why did you want to be a writer?
To tell stories and make up people and invent a world, like Dickens.
Do you have a special place where you write your books?
I have a desk in a sleepout, where it shares the space with the garden tools.
What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
Finding out what happens next, finding the exact right word.
Not finding out is the worst thing.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
An astronomer or a physicist.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read a lot, write a lot, keep on asking, 'What happens next?'

Read some books by Maurice Gee
More information about Maurice Gee

Read posts featuring Maurice Gee on the Christchurch Kids Blog

This interview is from 2002.