Interview with Caz Goodwin

Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s guest is an award-winning author who writes picture books, short stories, poetry and junior fiction for children. Her work has been published internationally and illustrated by Gus Gordon, Ashley King, Kerry Millard, Loo Joo Hong and others. She is head of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Victoria. Her latest book, Lazy Daisy is the first in a series of picture books published by Little Hare, an imprint of Hardie Grant Egmont. Ladies and Gentlemen, would you put your hands together for the wonderful Caz Goodwin – Woo-hooooo!

crowd cheering for interview on reading with a chance of tacos
Woo-hoooo! We love Caz! I love Daisy! Yip-eeeeeeee!

Hi Caz, and thanks for joining us today.

Hi Ken.

Okay, I have to start by asking if you have ever known anyone called Jasper Horatio Wiggleby Clarke, or did you just pluck the name out of the air? Because I love it! I loved it from the very first line of your book, Lazy Daisy.

I’ve never known anyone with exactly that name, but there is a fellow who inspired Jasper’s character. He struts around the park where I walk my dogs in his formal jacket, shiny black shoes and a bow tie. You can imagine how delighted I was when I saw Ashley King’s illustrations of Jasper. How did he know?

Oh that’s so amazing!

Jasper is such a wonderful character and a favourite of mine. I love him for his colour and eccentricity, what do you think makes a great character in kids’ books?

We all know those larger than life people with strong personalities and they make great characters in kids’ books. Kids also like to be able to relate to or connect with the characters they’re reading about, whether they are feeling lonely or overcoming challenges. 

And as a writer, what would you choose as your mascot or spirit animal?

It would have to be a koala. I rather like sitting and staring into space dreaming up stories.

Ahh, I’m starting to see where the inspiration for Daisy came from.  

Now Caz, I’ve always wanted to know, if a cow laughed would milk come out of her nose?

Yes, that would be a joke you could milk. It would be udderly hilarious.

Ha-ha-ha-ha. You’re so quick. Great answer! You must have a favourite joke

Q: Why did Daisy the koala fall out of the tree?

 A: Because she was dead.

What? Daisy the Drop Bear?

Forget that one. How about these?

Q. Why isn’t the koala a real bear?

A. Because it doesn’t have the right koalafications.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Q. Why did Daisy the koala eat so much eucalyptus?

A. She simply couldn’t leaf it alone.

Oh dear.

Q. What’s Daisy the koala’s favourite drink?

A. Koka-Koala, of course.

Ha-ha-ha. Oh stop it, you’re killing me. How much can a koala bear?

Let’s get serious again for a moment … koalifcations – he-he-he … Sorry, let’s get back on track. Should pineapple ever be on a pizza?

No, but hairy fish definitely should be. (I LOVE anchovies!)

Mmm anchovies, but okay, not with pineapple.

So, I’ll put a ‘no’ in the Pineapple column and a ‘yes’ in the Hairy Fish column.

If one synchronised swimmer drowns, do the others drown too?

Hopefully not, but that would be the ultimate in teamwork.

Well, it is a team sport.

Should we be able to spell creativity any way we want?

Definitely not. I’m a stickler for speling.

He-he-he. I see what you’ve done there, that’s funny and very kriative.

And, do you think humour is important in children’s literature?

Kids love humour and they love to laugh. Books that bring joy and laughter to the world have to be a good thing. Having said that, any book captures a child’s imagination, whether it’s funny, sad, mysterious or scary, is important.

Yes, so true. What tips would you give someone wanting to create a funny book for kids?

Remember what made you and your friends fall about laughing when you were kids. Write about the ridiculous, witty, silly and embarrassing moments but ramp them up and make them even more outrageous.  

Be even more outrageous! I love that advice.

Do you think writing humour can be a learned technique or is it something that has to come naturally from within?

I think it helps to enjoy humour to write funny books, but you can learn what kids find   funny by observing them and listening to them. Master that, and you have gold.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

I’m reviewing the illustrations for the next Daisy book, which will be coming out early next year. Ashley King’s illustrations always make me smile.

Me too. Ashley definitely has the right koalifications. I can’t wait ‘till next year. Caz Goodwin, thanks so much for giving up your time today, sharing your wonderful sense of humour and amazing advice.

Thanks Ken

If you’d like to find out more about Caz Goodwin and all her amazing work, click on her website right here:

And, if you haven’t seen our review of Lazy Daisy, you can click here:

Lazy Daisy and author

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