What books did you read as a child?
I was absolutely hooked on Enid Blyton from my very first book. I am so glad to see that kids are enjoying her again. The Famous Five were the best but I also particularly loved the Adventure series and, of course, The Wishing Chair and the Magic Faraway Tree. It was Enid Blyton who gave me that wonderful compulsive ‘I must read the next one’ feeling and initiated my lifetime reading habit.
If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?
Would it be wrong of me to admit that I would like to be Magda, a character of my own creation in my latest series, Trouble Next Door and Trouble at School? She is such a confident, adventurous, fun-loving girl who breezes through life causing mayhem and never worries about a thing. I’d love to be like that.
What is the best thing about reading?
It takes you into other worlds and expands and makes sense of the world you already know in the safest possible way. As the youngest of a large family it also provided a welcome escape from my busy, noisy home life - and still does!
What is your all-time favourite book?
Aargh! So many! I loved and wept over Black Beauty as a child and I can also remember the delight of discovering The Family from One End Street. A book about real people like me!
Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Talk to them. Play silly word games that make you both laugh. Enjoy the sound and rhythm of words, not just the meaning. Have fun with language.
How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My mum was brilliant. Any chance she’d get in her busy life, she’d have her nose in a book. She was the only person I know who could knit, read and watch television at the same time. She was a great storyteller herself and encouraged me to write stories and read them aloud, which has proved excellent practice for writing and editing.
How do you encourage your children/grandchildren to read? What books do you enjoy reading to them?
I don’t need to, they are all mad about books, all seven of them, and love going to the library. There are so many books to choose from nowadays. I still love reading to my grandchildren some of the books I read to my own children like Mog and I Will Always Love You (which makes them cry!) and Dogger and Peepo and Each, Peach, Pear, Plum and The Tiger Who Came To Tea, and practically any Julia Donaldson book which have the added bonus of always sending them to sleep.
Chris Higgins started her author career writing for teenagers and young adults. She has won a number of awards including Young Minds, the Lancashire Book Award, the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award, the KYBA, and she has been shortlisted twice for Queen of Teen. In 2012, Chris turned her hand to writing young fiction. Her My Funny Family series was published with great success with the first book being selected for BookTrust’s Bookbuzz scheme.
Chris has travelled the world extensively and now lives in West Cornwall with her husband.
Read more author interviews here.