Author Interview


Calico McClintock

Where were you born?

Auckland between the Tamaki River and Mt Wellington also known as Maungarei.

Where do you live now?

Ocean Beach, Northland

Where did you go to school?

Auckland, Tamaki.

Did you have a nickname?

Carole the barrel.

What were you like in school?

Quiet and observant.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?

I took a 20 shilling piece from the kitchen shelf and went up to the local bookstore with my girlfriend and bought 2 picture books. She told on me!

What was your favourite book growing up?

Stirring Stories for Girls.

Who is your favourite children’s author?

Maurice Sendak

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?

Cheese/green/Mozart's Sister

Who inspired you to write/illustrate?

Maurice Sendak – I discovered a really big book on library shelf all about the life, writings and drawings of Maurice Sendak.

How did you get started? How old were you?

I began writing as a mother of 3 young children. I spent many hours wandering the surf beaches of Northland while my husband surfed, making observations and turning them into stories for my children.

Why did you want to be a writer/illustrator?

I enjoy the challenge, particularly as an artist, I enjoy the visual stimulation of placing ideas, pictures and phrases together.  

How do you think up ideas?

Like Sendak they come from what I know and see around me. My encounters, discoveries and interactions with the environment I move in.

Do you have a special place where you write/illustrate?

Once an idea has popped, I develop it during the quiet of the night when I can't sleep. Then I race out to my computer and begin typing.

What is the best thing about being an author/illustrator?

It's a fun process.

Have you had a funny or embarrassing moment as an author/illustrator?

A few ooph's moments, like illustrating a bandaged leg with only the leg showing making it appear like it had been chopped off.

What do you do when you are not writing/illustrating?

I paint pictures, design plates, walk the beach, catch up with the grandchildren's activities.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not an author/illustrator?

I always wanted to be a painter, just like my big sister.

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

Artemisia Gentileschi, 17th century Italian Baroque woman painter

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

I’m a 4th generation New Zealander