Monica Koster I was born in Christchurch in 2002. My passions in life are running, writing and music. So far, I have published three different things. In 2010, when I was 8 years old, my earthquake poem was published on the NZEPC website along with Jeffrey Paparoa Holman’s. In 2013, I was published in the Margaret Mahy Governor’s Bay Poetry book when I won the Senior Poem with Illustration Competition. In 2014, I was excited and honoured to be published in Paula Green’s book, The Letter Box Cat.
Adrienne Jansen writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction for children and
adults. In 2014 she edited The Curioseum, a collection of strange and
wonderful stories based on weird objects in Te Papa’s collections. She lives
in Titahi Bay, with a big ocean view and lots of wind. (note from Paula: I adore The Curioseum so much I posted about it on Poetry Box!)
- When you were younger, what was your favourite book character?
When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Ian Seraillier’s The Silver Sword and the family in that novel.
- When did you start writing?
When I was a kid. The Evening Post (which was a Wellington newspaper then) had a Children’s Page, and I started sending little things to it when I was about 8.
- Did you ever play a sport?
I played badminton a lot, bit of tennis, but my real love is swimming. In the sea and in the pool both.
- Who was the most interesting person you met in Canada?
Probably a man we met the summer we went to the Yukon. He’d been goldmining up there for years. They’re a different breed, people who live long periods of time in huge remote places like that.
- It must have been fun editing the book, The Curioseum. What was your favourite piece in it?
It was fun – and hard work both, because quite a few of those writers didn’t usually write for children, so the stories needed quite a lot of work. I don’t think I can pick a favourite – I like them all a lot, and the writers as well.
- What (or who) inspired you to write “‘Clean as a Whistle,’ I say. That’s what I want.” (I’m guessing it was your son! How did he feel about it?)
Yes it was our younger son. And that’s exactly what happened (except that he was cleaning the laundry floor and I made it the kitchen floor). But everything else is exactly as it happened. I didn’t read it to him for quite a long time, but then he thought it was very funny! It was very unusual for him to clean the floor – he must have wanted something!
- I like thinking up ideas for poems when I’m sitting high in a tree. Where is your favourite place to write?
We’ve got a little yard out the back of our house. It’s very sheltered (that matters at our house because we get a big sea wind), there are tuis everywhere now, and there’s a big chunky table and two benches. Every morning that it’s fine I have breakfast there, and more and more I write out there. But really I write any old place.
Thanks Monica and Adrienne for such a wonderful interview. I really loved reading this. Adrienne has two poems in The Treasury including one of my all-time favourite poems about the wind!