Interview with Maurice Gee

Name: Maurice GeeMaurice GeeDate 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, opens a new window on the Christchurch Kids Blog, opens a new window

This interview is from 2002.

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