Author of ‘Selfies’
Steve Braunias and his nine-year-old daughter Minka have a routine: every morning on the ten-minute walk from their house in Te Atatu, West Auckland, to Rutherford Primary School, they make up stories and say them out loud to each other. Every day is a new instalment. The series is called The Saga. Her characters include Clementine, the evil Mrs Blue, and ‘Little Angus’, and Steve’s include ‘Big Baby Bradley’, Mr Tanner, and Ralphina. Steve tells his story first and has to stop when they get to the corner, and then Minka tells her story until they reach the school gate. When they leave the house every morning, the first thing they say is: ‘Previously on The Saga ..…’, when they quickly recount the previous day’s story. There have been many exciting adventures. There was the time Minka’s characters were on the Titanic. One of Steve’s stories was about children kept as slaves and forced to make toys for a $2 Shop. Steve works as a journalist, so he is used to making things up.
Steve publishes the children’s book series Lily Max by Queenstown writer Jane Bloomfield. His publishing company really is called Luncheon Sausage Books.
‘I didn’t read a book until I was about sixteen. Up until then, I only ever read comics. I remember one of my teachers saying something like, "You have to stop reading them. They’re just junk.” I knew straightaway that he was wrong and that I had to continue reading them because they were so exciting and they told stories better than any book. You could look at the stories as well as read them. I read war comics, romance stories for girls, superhero comics – everything. I’ve kept about a hundred of them and look at them from time to time. Our daughter has a comic book that she really loves. It’s called El Deafo by Cece Bell, about the adventures of a schoolgirl who has bad hearing. It’s absolutely brilliant.’