James Turner started making comics as soon as he was first able to hold a pencil. His latest book Super Animal Adventure Squad originally featured in The Times and Guardian newspapers before being published as part of the DFC Library. All 6 PB books in the DFC Library are out to buy on 1st August.
Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: I read a lot as a child, but I particularly enjoyed fantasy stories and fairy tales. I also loved to read the Asterix and Tintin books - there was a big collection at my local library and I must have read them all many times over.
Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: I like characters who use their wits rather than their strength to overcome their problems, so perhaps I would be the brave little tailor from the classic Grimm fairy tale.
Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: What I love most is how reading a good book can make us look at the world in a new way - I might be reading about a distant planet, but it can still hold up a mirror to our own world and teach us something important. Reading doesn't just teach us vocabulary - it teaches us how to think for ourselves.
Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: That's is a very difficult question, and if you asked me the same question tomorrow I'd probably give a different answer, but if I had to pick a favourite right now I'd have to say Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve - not only is it a fantastic tale set in a world that I was just desperate to explore, but it's also highly unconventional, refusing to wrap stories up with a neat happy ending just because that's what's expected.
Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: I began to draw as soon as I was able to hold a pencil, and was starting to tell stories in pictures long before I was able to write. I'd really recommend that parents encourage children to draw and tell stories from as young an age as possible - this will allow them to articulate their thoughts and develop clarity, and once their writing skills develop they'll be eager to.
Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: One of the most important things a writer can do is read as much as possible, and my parents always made sure I had plenty of books - I would go to the library every week, and always got taken to the book shop to spend my pocket money. They also gave me the space to do my own thing - writing is ultimately a solitary activity, and even from an early age a writer needs plenty of time on their own to come up with ideas.