Where were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born in Invercargill, and I now live in
Where did you go to school? Did you have a
I started school in Kingston near Queenstown.
Later on, I went to Clifton School in Invercargill.
My high school was Southland College. I didn’t
have a nickname; some people tried to call me
‘Gav’, but they didn’t get very far.
What were you like in school? What is the
naughtiest thing you did?
I was quiet and good. A bit nerdy I suppose. One
of the naughtiest things I can remember doing
when I was very little was peeing behind an old
lady’s hedge on my way home from the movies
What was your favourite book growing up?
Who is your favourite children’s author?
What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
My favourite colour is blue; favourite food is
macaroni cheese; and my favourite movie is Wild
Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman.
How did you get started? How old were you?
I started writing and illustrating in 1978. I was 32.
Why did you want to be a writer/illustrator?
I like stories and I like pictures. That is about it.
How do you think up ideas?
I don’t know ... if I knew I would do it more often
It is very hard to come up with a good idea for a
Do you have a special place where you write and
Yes. I have a studio where I do all my work.
What is the best thing about being an author/
Wearing your slippers to work.
Have you had a funny or embarrassing moment as
Once when I went to visit a school a little girl did
not believe I was Gavin Bishop. And at another
school a little boy thought I was Sir Edmond
What do you do when you are not writing or
Not much. I like reading and travelling. I like
movies, too, and eating.
What would you have chosen to be if you were not
A brain surgeon.
Which famous person from the past would you like
to talk to?
William Cole of Cole’s Book Arcade in Melbourne.