THINGS THAT KIDS ASK A LOT…
Where are you from?
A mystical fairyland full of magical creatures called Bendigo, located in the enchanted realm of regional Victoria.
(You’ll find near the bottom of Australia, a country that is located right at the bottom of your globe. No, that’s Antarctica. You’ve gone too far. Come back up a bit. That’s it. Now you’ve got it.)
What were you like as a kid?
Impossibly handsome. I also had an eye-patch, stooped shoulders and very few friends. It was a complicated time.
Who do you live with?
My wife, my three kids and a great white shark. OK. That’s not true. I only have two kids.
Do you have pets?
We have two cats, Lady Maude Fluffington (a ragdoll) and Edward Ruskin, commonly known as Ted (a British short-hair). They are absolutely delightful.
Did you always want to be a writer?
All I ever wanted to be was a co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon.
When did you become a writer?
When it became clear that the Millennium Falcon was a fictional vehicle and there was no one, living or dead, that I could send a job application to.
Why did you become a writer?
Because it’s awesome.
Do you do the pictures in your books?
Yes I do
Where do your ideas come from?
I’m glad you asked. There’s actually a spot, just near the end of my street, where you can pick up ideas on a Tuesday morning at around 9.45am, depending on whether their bus is on time or not. It’s really irritating when they’re late though. I’m a busy guy, you know what I saying?
How do you make a book?
By putting words and pictures together in such a way that makes me feel happy. I don’t know how to describe it more accurately than that.
How long does it take to make a book?
About 11 minutes.
Which character from your books is your favourite?
Pig the Pug changed my life so he gets a shout out here (Yo Pig! Sup?!) but my favourite character is actually Mr Snake from The Bad Guys. He’s a complicated dude and he struggles with life more than all the other characters. I really love him.
How do you write rhymes?
Let me show you –
Who has a name that rhymes with BABY?
That writer you love called AARON BLABEY.
Where do you write your books?
On the back of my left leg.
What’s the best thing about writing books?
The endless critical acclaim.
How can I get better at writing or drawing?
Do it lots.
What advice would you give a young writer?
Do it lots.
And never give up.
And avoid corduroy jackets with, or without, leather elbow patches.
Will all your books be turned into movies or TV shows?
It’s like this –
Bad Guys? Yep! It’s out! Right now!
Thelma? Yep, coming soon.
Cat On the Run? Yep, in a little while.
Pig? Yep, but you have to be patient, I’ve got a lot happening right now, OK?
My weird OTHER books? Who knows? Stranger things have happened…
THINGS THAT GROWN-UPS ASK A LOT…
What has happened to my life?
How do I get my children’s book published?
I really don’t have a good answer for this.
One thought though –
Don’t be Gollum.
By which, I mean, don’t write one thing and then hold onto it like it’s your preciousssss.
Write a bunch of stuff. Like, all the time. Or as much as you can manage, depending on your life and circumstances. Write from your heart. Write things that makes you happy. Write things that YOU would have liked to have read when you were a kid. Actually think about what you loved back then. Just write, write, write,
And then, be brave and show it to people.
If it’s good and you don’t give up, hopefully you’ll find a home for it.
I really do, from the bottom of my heart, wish you the very best with it.
THINGS THAT KIDS AND GROWN-UPS ASK A LOT…
Can you visit my school, join me on Zoom, read my story or get me published?
I wish I could but I make a lot of books and most of those books are becoming movies so my time is shrinking by the day and the tiny bits of time I have left are for my family. I apologise in advance for any disappointment this may cause.