What was your favourite childhood book and why?
This is a very difficult one, I have so many, but I think if pushed it would have to be 'Wind in the Willows' Kenneth Grahame.
It's certainly the one I've re-read the most. It's so beautifully written. So sensory you can feel spring arriving and smell the river. Also as I grew up, it grew with me. I think at different ages there's different stories hidden beneath. They don't stop someone younger enjoying it in all its simplicity yet some things you only see when you are much older, more still as an adult. I have at least three copies, including my dad's old battered one and a later one bought for my children that's fully illustrated.
Which of your own books is your favourite and why?
Oh gosh, that's even harder. Where Zebras Go was my first collection, I am sure for any author that is such a big thing and it has a lot of me in it but in many respects, If I Were Other Than Myself, is part of that same narrative. Everything I hold dear is in them and my children are in the illustrations. So I don't think I can choose. I hope that's allowed?
Why do you choose to read?
Oh so many reasons, I read to find out, to escape, to explore. Reading is the fuel for the inspiration that made me the writer I am. As a child it was a place to go, a journey through another's eyes. As a parent I couldn't wait to take my children on those same journeys. In doing so I travelled to new places with them. I feel that all truly good books own a little magic because whatever is in them only you see exactly what your mind makes of them. Also books are good friends and like good friends it depends on your mood as to whose company you prefer. But mostly they help me know we're not alone whatever I've felt, someone has felt before. I find there's great comfort in knowing that.