Mini is not my real name. My parents named me Lia when I was born, after my nana, but they never actually called me that. For some reason they always called me Mini, they can't remember why!
2. Do you have a nickname and if so can you tell us what it is?
Please see above.
3. What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear, like most parents, is something bad happening to my children. I'm terrified of eels too!
4. Can you describe your writing style for us in ten words?
Impulsive, nothing comes, then a whole story gushes out at once.
5. Can you tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer?
Funny, silly, affectionate, flexible, creative speller (a positive way of saying that I'm a terrible speller).
6. What book character would you most like to be, and why?
Christopher Robin. He has a wonderful childhood, lots of friends and adventures and a great imagination. I love the way he has such affection for his 'friends'. He's intrepid and brave but displays a lot of common sense too.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I'd like to travel to the year 2016. I'm studying to be a high school art teacher. I am really excited about teaching students art, I can't wait to start! I'm also thinking about a new Barry and Stella book, it would be nice to see which idea I chose and how it turns out.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
I can't believe you're so old!
9. Who is your greatest influence?
Barry, my dog (sorry mum, dad and kids). He has a wonderful sense of humour and is always so eager and affectionate. I love the way dogs are so excited about life, if only people could be so enthusiastic. He's been the inspiration for my last two books so he's a big presence in my life at the moment.
10. What or who encouraged you to start writing?
I used to only illustrate children's books. Maryann Ballentine, a publisher I worked with, suggested I write a book about what it was like growing up in the 70s. That, and the rest, is history!
11. What is your favourite word and why?
I love the word 'disgruntled': To be without your gruntles! Apparently gruntle is a very old word derived from the 'grunt of a pig. It implied that you were offended. I would love to use 'disgruntled' and 'discombobulate' in a book some time. They are such funny sounding words.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That's like asking me which of my children is my favourite! I do love the Shipping News, I've read it three times since it was published. I think I would choses a long book if I could only read one. I loved A Suitable Boy. It took me ages to read, for months after I finished it I missed the characters. It felt like they had been part of my life for so long.
Mini Goss is an author and illustrator based in Melbourne. She has written and illustrated numerous books for children and was awarded the Crichton Award for Illustration in 2002. Her latest book, Too Hot for Spots, published in June 2014 by Allen & Unwin, is part of the Barry and Stella series which also includes Too Cold for a Tutu (Allen & Unwin, 2012). Both books feature Mimi’s own dog Barry and his real-life aunt Stella as knitted toys. Visit the Barry and Stella website for more information.
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