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- author Jackie French

Tuesday 12 October 2021

12 Curly Questions with author Raymond Huber

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I listen to television theme music from my childhood while I cook the evening meal. I loved 1960s shows like Lost in Space, Green Acres, and Mission Impossible.

2. What is your nickname?
My grandchildren sometimes call me Tintin – I like to think it's because I love the books, but it's more likely because of my (sometimes) quiff. A good nickname for a writer is 'me can ink' (an anagram of 'nickname').

3. What is your greatest fear?
No one fear is greatest; they can all get a bit wild at times. But I'm finally learning how to tame them (hint: it starts with naming the feelings), a skill I wish I'd learned earlier in life.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Concise. Every word must count: six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hopeful, fun, fascinating, slow, offbeat.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Moominpappa form the Moomin series by Tove Jansson. He is a kind, steady, optimistic, and vulnerable father. Moominpappa's credo is to "live in peace, plant potatoes, and dream". (Or Tintin).

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
1968. I liked being 10 years old – a sweet-spot between childhood and the turbulent teens.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?

My 10-year old self is still with me. He says things like: "Let's go for a run on the beach"; "let's watch an old Dr Who episode"; and "don't worry so much".

9. Who is your greatest influence?
That's right, Dr Who. When I was young, watching Dr Who fired my writing imagination. These days, Dr Jane Goodall is my inspiration. She travels the world encouraging young people to look after the planet, and somehow she remains hopeful.

10. What/who made you start writing?
The first buzz I got from writing was when my Year 4 teacher praised a quirky science report I wrote: I've loved science writing ever since. Later in life, my partner (who is a wonderful writer) inspired me to write for children.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
It's 'mystery'. Because it makes me ask why. Why is there a universe? Why is Beethoven's 9th so moving? Why are donuts so delicious?

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
In such a dystopian world as that, I'd choose a hymn book (an ancient songbook) so I could read the words and the music, and sing as well.

Raymond Huber is a children’s author, teacher, and editor. His acclaimed picture books, Flight of the Honey Bee and Gecko, are published in several countries; his junior novels, Sting and Wings, are science-fiction books about bees; and Peace Warriors is a young adult fiction book about non-violence. Raymond has also written many educational books. He lives in New Zealand and was the Creative NZ-Otago University Writer in Residence in 2018. For more information see www.raymondhuber.co.nz.