'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 11 October 2010

Author Interview: Craig Smith

Author and musician Craig Smith joins us today. Craig's picture book, The Wonky Donkey, has been hugely successful throughout New Zealand and Australia, and is fast becoming loved by kids everywhere. 

Tell us a little about you: what’s your background, your story? I was born in small town New Zealand. Solo mum of six kids, I am the youngest. I picked up the guitar at twelve years old and have had a love of music and writing stories in song ever since. I was in sales and marketing for years before finally going with my heart and following a more artistic venture.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Yes, it was a love story. But that was a more mature theme. My first kids story was about a Gollywog who managed to make it back to his owner after many years of missing each other... to be continued.

What genre do you write in? No specific Genre. Just depends on my mood. I'm boxless.

 What other genres have you written in?

What do you love about writing for kids? I love watching their faces when the book is read or sung to them.

What was the inspiration behind your new book, The Wonky Donkey? The old joke: "what do you call a donkey with three legs?" and the need to be silly.

Tell us about your path to having your books published. I tried to e mail some publishers but got the standard "we do not accept unsolicited works". So I turned up to a function that I knew some publishers would be at and got the story into their hands directly.

What are the greatest blocks or obstacles you have experienced on your book-writing journey? Publishers are no doubt inundated with people sending them stories, so I understand why they can't accept every story that come to them.

What’s a typical writing day? Nothing typical, inspiration can come at any time day or night. You just have to be ready to drop whatever you're doing and run with it.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write everything down, every idea. Be prepared to drop whatever you're doing and run with inspiration at any time day or night.

What books did you read as a child? I loved Spike Milligan’s Bad Jelly The Witch as well as Jack London’s books.

What else do you like to do, other than write books? Music is a huge part of my life. I like watching the ALL BLACKS win!!

What would be your perfect day? Cold but sunny, up earlyish, cups of tea before heading out to meet up with friends and good conversation. Followed by good food.

What five words best sum you up? Prepared, unafraid, silly, curious and hairy.

What’s next for Craig Smith? I’m launching my new book Willbee the Bumblebee, which is also published by Scholastic. I also have new music CD for adults called 45 South.

See more of Craig's work at craigsmith.co.nz.
I've written kids, adults, fact, fiction, comedy and drama.