FAQs

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Where do you write?
Anywhere. I wish I could write in a laundromat or cobbler’s store. The smell makes me happy.
 
How many times have you been asked ‘where do you get your ideas?’
Too many to count.
 
So where do you get your ideas?
They normally arrive in the shower, the one place you don’t have a pen. Read a lot. Write a lot. Repeat. Watch movies you wouldn’t normally watch. Go to gigs. I find if I cram my head with all of these and then just relax, ideas arrive. Also. Buy a trampoline, some juggling balls and eat lots of blueberries.
 
Is Writer’s Block a thing?
As my mate Joy Cowley says, it normally means you need to recharge your batteries. Juggling helps. And blueberries.
 
What is your favourite question asked at a school talk?
Why have you never written a book about a pigeon with rabies and a dead man with jelly falling out of him?
 
Who are your favourite authors?
Louis Sachar. Roald Dahl. Ernest Hemingway. Nick Hornby.
 
Have you always read a lot of books?
Words, yes, not necessarily novels. When I was at school all I read were Asterix stories and sports autobiographies.
 
Any advice for writers?
Agents and publishers are not your audience. Forget money and awards. Get behind the eyes of your readers.
 
Where were you born and where did you go to college?
Hawera, New Zealand. Kapiti College. Same as Oscar-winning film director Peter Jackson.
 
You have written three travel books. What’s your favourite place to visit?
Too many to name. I backpacked around Africa, spent a year in Whitby, Ontario on my student exchange. I love the Pacific Islands, Australia, the USA, Mexico, England — see what I mean?
 
Why don’t you write a book about a boy wizard?
I wish I had.
 
What do you do in your spare time?
My young daughters often thrash me at backyard soccer, despite my cheating. I draw and play ukulele.
 
What was the first book you ever wrote?
Bombarded: A Maggot Adventure
 
What movie do you wish you had made? And what song do you wish you had written?
Star Wars and anything by David Bowie.
 
Do you have a day job as well?
I host a nationwide drive show on The Hits radio station.
 
Any advice to aspiring writers?
Become a lawyer.