Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles with Tony DiTerlizzi, The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown as well as The Magisterium Series with Cassandra Clare. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.
Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: I read a lot off my parents’ shelves when I was a kid. My mother, in particular, fed my love of fantasy. She’s the one that introduced me to Tolkien, to Kipling’s Puck of Pook’s Hill, and Mary Stewart’s Merlin series. But I also loved Lloyd Alexanders’ Prydain Chronicles, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising, and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: I would like to be Baba Yaga so I could live in a house with a chicken feet and fly through the air on a mortar and pestle.
Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: Being someone else and getting to experience their totally different life, distilled to all the high highs and low lows.
Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: It’s an adult book: Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint.
Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: Other than reading books with kids and modelling reading independently, the best way to help kids to develop communication skills is probably through conversation.
Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: As a painter, my mother was always supportive of my interest in the arts. She loved reading and encouraged me with my writing. She’s read all my books – and all of Cassie’s as well. On the non-encouraging front, I think she likes Cassie’s books better.
Q: How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
A: I have a fifteen-month-old toddler and we’ve read to him every day. It’s been fascinating to see him go from being willing to sit there to actively selecting and bringing over the books he wants read to him.
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