John Lockyer writes books which, because you’re reading this, makes good sense. The books he writes are mostly for children who are learning to read at school. He is also a teacher. The children he teaches often give him ideas for stories. Some of these stories have become Sunshine Books like A Bad Day.
John’s first story for Sunshine Books was A Humpback Whale. That was a long time ago. Since then he has written about history, space, famous people, food, science, places around the world, technology, sports and medicine.
The stories he likes to write the most are about people who get themselves into tricky situations like Red’s Kennel. The people in the stories could be at home, on a train, at sea, in the jungle or even in space. The fun part about writing these stories is finding interesting and surprising ways to help the characters.
John lives in Auckland. The room in which he writes has a desk and a chair. The rest of the room has stacks of books but he isn’t sure he’ll ever get time to read every one. All his stories are written straight onto a computer. Outside the window is a tall silk tree that he looks at from time to time, especially if he’s trying to think of interesting ideas. When he’s not teaching or writing John reads a lot and runs a lot but not at the same time.
Whenever John is asked for writing advice he sometimes says, “writing is similar to gardening. A story idea is like a seed. It won’t grow without nurturing, fertiliser, which is feeding the characters and plot, and ultimately weeding or editing.” Hopefully once everything is done properly the idea blooms into a wonderful story. At other times when he’s asked about writing, he says, “if you have an idea just write it down and see where it takes you”.
John also likes dark chocolate and black coffee, as should all right thinking people.