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Mini Goss

Author, Illustrator

Mini Goss is a Melbourne-based award winning author and illustrator, with more than 30 books to her name. Mini’s life-like, detailed illustrations draw readers into a world of imagination and humour that appeal to children and parent alike. She has won over fans in Australia and overseas with her quirky, realistic style.

What other jobs have you had?

I have worked as a waitress and a cook for many years. I hope to write a cookbook for kids one day!

What themes are recurring in your work?

Animals. As a kid we travelled a lot so I wasn’t allowed to have any animals. I made up for it as an adult though, having many pets over the years. Most of them have been featured in at least one book. Illustrating Rhino Neil was difficult because I wasn’t allowed to have a rhino or an elephant as a pet! I had to go to the zoo to draw them.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Without a doubt, the highlight of my career so far has been the exhibition of my work at the Warrnambool Regional Art Gallery. It featured over fifty pieces from more than nine of my books. The curator designed activities to accompany each book – dress-ups, puppet theatres, sand play etc. It was amazing to walk into the huge gallery space for the first time and to see all of that work together. The highlight of this year has been finally seeing the proofs for “Too Cold for a Tutu”, the book featuring my dog that I have been working on for the last three years.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about telling stories in words and pictures. I love passing that on to kids, working with them to get their own ideas to come to life. I particularly love to work with the kids who put their hand up and say “I can’t draw!” I remember being a child and wanting my drawings to look ‘perfect’ and being so frustrated because they didn’t look the way I wanted them to. I show those kids ways of illustrating with shapes, contrasting scale and lots of colour. I remind the kids that I have one of the best jobs in the world and that writing and drawing is fun, not something to get stressed about.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

As a child, when I wasn’t allowed to have a pet, I used to wish that stray cats and dogs would follow me home. These days we have more than enough pets, but something weird has started to happen. Over the last year, as I was madly working to finish Too Cold for a Tutu lots of strays have started arriving at our house. The strangest was a ferret who appeared under my bed at three in the morning! Sometimes I fear that my fictional animal theme is taking over my real life. Are all of these animals trying to get featured in one of my books?

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