Gill Lewis

What books did you read when you were a child?
I struggled to read as a child and found highly illustrated books were my way into stories. I loved the Tintin adventures, but I also loved non-fiction books about animals. The Reader’s Digest Book of British Birds was a firm favourite.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
It would have to be an animal or someone who cares for an animal. I would love to be Opal in Kate DiCamillo’s story about a girl and a dog; Because of Winn Dixie.

What is the best thing about reading?
Opening a book is to step through into another world, and set out on a marvelous adventure, meeting new characters, and learning something about the world and yourself.

What is your all time favourite book?
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico; a story about compassion and bravery and the love of wild things.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Give them their time. Turn off the screens and play with them. Step into their world and listen to them.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My parents were always encouraging, but despite loving creating stories, I struggled with English at school and so never believed I could be an author. It wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I found the courage to write again, and my parents supported me even then.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
Reading at bedtime is a special and unique time to have together. To read aloud and explore illustrations can take the reader and the child on an adventure together. It is a time when children often open up about problems too, and reading together forges that closeness and trust.

Gill Lewis writes stories for children about the natural world and our relationship with it.
Her stories have been inspired by the many people and animals she has met in her work as a vet and her travels around the world. Her latest book, Run Wild, is based upon her love of an urban wild space within the city where she grew up. It was a place of adventure where she and her friends could play and explore, unhindered by adult supervision. It was a place she could run wild.

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