I have an uncanny ability to communicate with cats.
2. What is your nickname?
Mofra, Mausie, Mrs Clafouti, - I always wanted a decent nickname but none really stuck.
3. What is your greatest fear?
Well, I’ll save you from the burden of my darkest fears, but I am certainly a scaredy-cat around things that go ‘BANG’- bursting balloons, popping champagne corks. My poor heart’s racing at the very thought.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
A wee bit old fashioned, but in a nice way.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Determined, delighted, nostalgic, grateful, time-poor…
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Ah, an easy one. Without hesitation I would say Pippi Longstockings. She’s hilarious, happy go lucky, and footloose and fancy free. And of course she’s the strongest girl in the world. Brilliant. Who else could possibly compete?
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Hmmm, well I certainly wouldn’t be going forward in time, a few too many robots. Ancient Egypt would be fascinating, or maybe I could pop in for a visit with my Viking ancestors…
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Why do you only have 4 cats? And where is the partially tamed wolf who is loyal to only you?
9. Who is your greatest influence?
In terms of writing, my influence comes from everywhere. There are so many wonderful children’s writers around it is impossible to pin it down, but I guess I’m always drawn to the rhyming greats – Margaret Mahy, Julia Donaldson, Lynley Dodd. I love reading rhyme and poetry to my kids.
10. What/who made you start writing?
Well, I used to write poetry for a select few when I was younger, but I really only entertained the idea of writing a book when I had my own children, and rediscovered kids’ books again. More specifically, it was after reading Miss Lily’s Pink Feather Boa by Margaret Wild, and discovering just how powerful and beautiful a picture book can be. It made me cry.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
‘Puddleduck’– I like the way it kind of bounces on your tongue.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Errrgh. Nope. Sorry. I’m not at all comfortable with that imagining. What a miserable life to be stuck in a loop with the same book forever. How lucky we are that our libraries and bookshops are heaving with so much talent. So many books, so little time…
Maura Finn is a New Zealand-born author now living in Melbourne. Her picture book My Magnificent Jelly Bean Tree, illustrated by Aura Parker, has recently been published by New Frontier Publishing. Visit Maura's website for the latest updates on her writing and author events.