What was your favourite story/character?
My favourite character was Algy in the
Biggles stories by Capt. WE Johns. They were adventure stories set in
wonderfully exotic places.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
I had met a girl that I liked. My friend
then rang me up, pretending he was the girl, and asked me out to the
movies. Before I could say yes, I had to get my parents permission.
They, of course, wanted to know the details and then made a big thing
out of me going out with a girl. I still remember the embarrassment when
I later found that my so-called friend had tricked me.
What did you most like and dislike about school?
Science was my favourite and best subject
especially chemistry. I mostly enjoyed school, but particularly disliked
it when teachers were wrong and wouldnt admit to it: that got me into a
lot of trouble.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a vet. However it
required getting a scholarship to study in Australia, and the careers
advisor at the school told me I was too dumb to get one, so I didnt try.
I ended up being a science teacher.
Who is the most interesting person you've met in your life?
Ronald Hugh Morrieson, a New Zealand
novelist whose talent was never fully recognized when he was alive. I
visited his house to play snooker on a couple of occasions. Meeting and
talking to him convinced me that you didnt have to be a special person
to become a writer.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
That more people understood that living on this planet is a partnership between humans and all the other living thing.
How many people in your household?
Two, my wife and myself.
Do you have any pets?
We have an English springer spaniel called TeeCee.
Your advice to aspiring young authors.
Read, read, and read! Then take the books
that you really like and try to identify why you liked them. The things
you discover are likely to help with your own writing.