Where are you based?
I live in Wellington, New Zealand. (dramatic coast, capital city, extreme weather)
What do you do there?
I'm supposed to be writing but my friend Melinda took that for a blog title...so I thought musings would be better but I'm supposed to be writing....really. In between (when I should be writing) I teach children, run a playgroup, sing in a church music group, read (a lot) am on the committee of The Wellington Children's Book Association, and have been associated with the Storylines Wellington Festival from the beginning. I am part of the fabulous FaBo team that put together the first online rollercoaster story for children and followed it up in 2011 with Fabo 2 and Fabo 3 and Fabo 4 and now we are getting into our stride 10 years down the track. Will we do another one? Keep your eyes open...
What about that conference you organised?
With Fifi Colston, I led a fantastic team that planned and delivered Spinning Gold, the first National Conference for Children's Writers and Illustrators in New Zealand (It was 16 years since the last one) It was an amazing event, the effects of which are still being felt through the country… In 2011 the next conference was held in Auckland. The 2013 conference was in Christchurch and then it came back to Wellington I headed the stellar team that delivered Tinderbox- The 4th National Conference October 2-5th 2015. The 5th conference in Auckland has just wrapped. It is going from strength to strength.
What's with the Space pictures?
One of my interests is space...Space exploration, Astronomy, Mars...There are awe-inspiring pictures out there of the beauty of the universe and I am doing my little bit to show you some of them. The old header picture was two galaxies that are colliding...just think of the power of all those suns much bigger than our own....they probably have planets orbiting as well...the magic of new worlds...(ok I'll stop ranting...)
How do you pronounce Craicer and what does it mean?
Craic is the Irish Gaelic word for that time in a party where the words, music and ideas flow and the spirit of joy (and alcohol) combine to make you feel intensely alive.
It is pronounced CRACK.
I was thinking about what I wanted the blog to be, lots of ideas, and a bit of fun (also I had just written a mid-grade called Craic), and as I am a Celt from way back it just seemed to fit.
Are you published?
Yes in school journals and in trade.
I have manuscripts out visiting publishers, manuscripts in drawers, and manuscripts being worked on... You can find out what I write on the My Books page or going to my books website (click on the pic in the sidebar) or by clicking any of the book covers in the sidebar. Each cover takes you to a dedicated page of info for the book, with outtakes or first chapters etc etc. I have also contributed to a monthly radio show called Writer's Island.
Why do you write for children?
They are the hardest age to write for. They are the hardest to please. They demand a higher standard of writing in the fewest words. I always like to challenge myself...To write an entertaining good children's book is the pinnacle of writing....so I'm working towards that...
Didn't you judge the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults? What was that like?
Yes, I did in 2018. It was amazing and a busy four months reading over 130 books some of them over and over. We have got some world-class children's authors here.
I was honoured that they thought I was special enough to receive The Betty Gilderdale Award for Outstanding Services to Children's Literature in 2017.
Would you go to Mars?
Stephen Hawking said that humanity must spread through the solar system if we want to survive. Think of the possibilities if the whole world turned its attention to space exploration instead of resource depletion...we could be setting up home on Ganymede before the end of the century....just a thought...
maureencrisp(at)gmail (dot) com
Click Here to go to my books website About Me page where there is even more stuff about me... as well as links to interviews.