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Craig Smith

Craig Smith.

Also known as the Wonky Donkey man, Craig Smith is an author and musician, and has won many awards for his book, The Wonky Donky.

He has been awarded Recorded music, NZ children's artist/album of the year "Tui" Winner 2019.

Craig loves to write fun books for children, many accompanied by his own music.

How long have you been writing?

 Since I was 18 ... my own music. For kids 15 years.

Why did you start writing?

I loved music and wanted to express myself... and to impress girls.

Did you always want to be a writer?

No. I wanted to play in the NBA.

Why did you decide to write children’s books?

I was writing for me and adults. Then I was inside on a rainy day with some family who were young, and I started writing silly songs for them.

How many books have you written?

About 25. 8 have been published.

Why do you think they became so popular?

They’re silly, fun, left of field, with great illustrations, and parents and kids alike enjoy them. Also, my books involve aural, visual and kinesthetic learning which most books don't.

Do your children like books?

My daughter loves me reading to her.

Where did you get the idea for The Wonky Donkey?

The idea came from a joke. It took one day to write.

What does it take to be an author?

First you have to write. Then you need to share your writing. A lot of time and effort.

Who are your favourite authors?

Children, Spike Milligan, Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl.

What’s the best part about being an author?

Performing the books, I get to see how much the kids have fun. Receiving fan mail from kids and parents.

Do you write full-time or do you have another job

I write full time.

Who are people you most admire?

Nelson Mandela. My mum. People who speak the truth.

What else have you written?

Two more books being published are, The Dinky Donkey and Wonky Donkey's Paralympics.

How long do you write for each day?

Some days I don't write at all. Some times all day.

How long does it take for you to write a book?

Between a day and several years.

How do you decide what to write about?

If it makes me laugh.... if it's interesting... if it's challenging..... if it makes people think.

Where do you write?

In any space that I won't get interrupted. I have a cabin in the woods.

What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?

Writing comes first, inspiration comes second... write as much as you can.
Write often.
Now that you're a writer, inspiration will come from everywhere.

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