1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I failed English at High School.
2. What is your nickname?
Fish – although it doesn’t get used a lot nowadays. When I worked with street kids many years ago, they called me Hubcap Head.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Determined, funny, cheeky, heartfelt, hopeful.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
I would be the Puffin in The Sea-Thing Child by Russell Hoban. Why? It’s my favourite book and I love the way the Puffin discovers his true destiny, spreads his wings and soars. I can relate to that; I am encouraged by that.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Hmmm, hardest question. If pressed I would say 1965, so I could march with Martin Luther King Jnr on the civil rights protest march from Selma to Mongomery.
8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
I’m glad you stopped throwing stones at girls.
9. Who is your greatest influence?
Other than my mum, Baymax from Big Hero 6.
10. What/who made you start writing?
About 30 years ago, a 10-year-old boy asked me if I would write a story about a boy who was being bullied. I told him that I don’t write books. Not long after that I saw a charm of magpies on the side of the road. It looked like they were picking on the weakest one. I could see a story in that, so I wrote it. It became my first picture book, The Magpie Who Wasn’t a Chicken. After that, I read The Sea-Thing Child and I knew I wanted to write for children.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Fantastic. Because it’s fantastic. If someone asks me how I am, I say “fantastic”. It surprises people. Even if I’m not feeling fantastic, just saying it helps me feel better and they usually smile.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Sea-Thing Child by Russell Hoban
Steve uses his 40-plus years of working with children to inspire him and combines heart, hope, humour and help to create books that touch and tickle children’s hearts. His first middle-grade novel Maximus (Serenity Press) published 2018. His first trade-published picture book is Ling Li’s Lantern (MidnightSun Publishing) 2020. For more information, see www.steveheron.com.
July 13, 2021 at 12:34AM Penny