What was your favourite childhood book and why?
Like most children's authors, I was a massive Roald Dahl fan and to this day I love The Twits. But a book that really stayed with me was A Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken, illustrated so beautifully by Jan Pienkowski. It's a collection of short stories, but the title story about a little girl who is gifted a magical raindrop necklace by her godfather, the North Wind, really stayed with me.So much so, in fact, that when I bought the book for my little girl thirty years later, I could still remember the story word for word!
Which of your own books is your favourite and why?
This is such a tough question as, like my kids I love them all, just for different reasons! The one I'm most proud of is Simply The Quest, my second novel, because it was an absolute nightmare to write! It was two completely different books before I settled on the right one and I think I terrified my publishers that I had completely forgotten how to write! But I battled on and I got there in the end – and thankfully, my readers seem to love it.
Why do you choose to read? Or why bother? Or what is reading good for?
I used to think that reading was just something I really enjoyed, but as I get older and uglier, I realise it is essential for my wellbeing as a writer and as a very busy human! Reading takes you out of yourself and gives your brain somewhere to holiday while you figure out real life. Reading fills your head with stories, ideas and experiences beyond your own and makes you think about the world(s) you don't know. I love it. Can you tell…?