Interview with Peter Gossage

Book Cover of How Maui Slowed The Sun, opens a new windowName: Peter Gossage

Date of birth: 22 October 1946

Place of birth: Remuera, Auckland

Now living in: Newton, Auckland

What is your favourite food?


Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?

At school it was " Goss, Gossy or Mekon".

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Playing 'John Darling' in Peter Pan, flown through the air on a wire in His Majesty’s theatre, I was lowered down and the seat ripped out of my pyjamas. My bare bottom was exposed to several hundred people. It brought the house down.

How do you relax?

By going to the pub or reading a book.

Who inspired you when you were little?

My mother and father, and my grandfather, and my teachers.

What were you like at school?

Academically excellent, until the fifth form. Then I discovered beer and girls. Used to arrange mediaeval battles between Standards 3 and 4 (Years 5 and 6) at Victoria Avenue Primary School.

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Favourite: Art

Most Hated: Maths

What was the book you most loved as a child?

The Five Little Firemen, Tootle, The Taxi That Hurried - (Golden Books, Simon and Schuster). The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling, The Gauntlet, by Ronald Welch. The "Eagle" comic.

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

Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine.

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?


Book Cover of Battle of the Mountains, opens a new windowWhy did you want to be a writer?

To share my imagination with other people, especially children.

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

I used to do them in the pub. People would often come up, show an interest and offer ideas. No one ever spilled beer on my artwork.

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

Unless you illustrate your own books you have to give 50% of the money to the artist. A writer can write a children’s book in a week. It can take an artist months to do the illustration.

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

A demi-god. A happy husband.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read everything you can. Be simple and plain. Simplicity is the essence of good design.

Read some books by Peter Gossage
More information about Peter Gossage, opens a new window

This interview is from 2002.

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