Author Gavin Bishop faces hard questions

Will Roddick, 11, will be interviewing author Gavin Bishop at the Nelson Arts Festival Readers and Writers Festival.
Marion van Dijk

Will Roddick, 11, will be interviewing author Gavin Bishop at the Nelson Arts Festival Readers and Writers Festival.

Nelson Intermediate School pupil Will Roddick will be putting the hard questions to award-winning author Gavin Bishop at the Page & Blackmore Readers and Writers Festival in October. 

Will, 11, got the gig after Readers and Writers organiser Jacquetta Bell heard he was a huge fan of the author's work, including Bishop's most recent release, Teddy One-Eye: The Autobiography of a Teddy Bear. "I felt quite excited because he's someone I've looked up to for a long time," Will said. He intended to grill the author on his life, family, and work.

He had first read Bishop's Piano Rock at 7. "I absolutely loved it," he said. "It was my favourite book. It seemed so poetic and a really beautiful memoir. The writing and illustrations were really exquisite."

He recommended the author's books to other children as well as to parents who wanted something good to read aloud to their kids. "Anyone from any age can enjoy them," he said. 

Bishop, a Christchurch-based children's writer and illustrator of nearly 60 books, said he couldn't be happier about his upcoming interrogation.

"Many years ago I was interviewed by a young girl for the radio and it was great," he says. "She was about 8 or 9 at the time and asked the most terrific questions. So when it was suggested I be interviewed by this young boy who was already familiar with my work I thought that sounds really great. I'm looking forward to it."

Teddy One-Eye was released by Penguin Random House in September and has found a loving audience with fans, winning a Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Award. It has already been reprinted and will be published in China later this year.

Thomas Koed, of Nelson's Page & Blackmore Booksellers, said the book had been a steady seller, featuring in its Christmas catalogue last year and resonating with all ages.

Gavin Bishop in conversation with Will Roddick, the Granary Festival Cafe, October 17, 10.30am. Tickets $6 + bf from nelsonartsfestival.co.nz.

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