Name: Phil Smith
Date of birth: 30 July 1945
Place of birth: Rotorua
Now living in: Mount Maunganui
- What is your favourite food?
- Bananas. Banana smoothies, banana pancakes, banana cake, banana sandwiches.
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- Running the length of the field to score a try after the whistle had gone.
- How do you relax?
- Ruminate on complex philosophical issues with a bunch of bananas.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- My father, because he fought the Germans in the war and stopped Hitler turning us into Nazis.
- What were you like at school?
- A dreamer, a loner, a stranger in a strange land.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Most hated: Mathematics and anything to do with numbers.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- Rupert the Bear
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- David Hill
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- I worked as a newspaper journalist for 35 years and figured there must be something more to life.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- A small study surrounded by trees, 100 metres from the beach.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- You get to create stories and characters but you have to spend months writing it all down and revising it.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- A lion tamer.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Write about whatever interests you, things you know about or have a feel for. Don’t worry about becoming rich or famous; you’re a storyteller first, an artist with words, carrying on an amazing tradition that’s lasted since time began.
This interview is from 2008.