What books did you read when you were a child?
Aside from the classics I loved everything by David Almond and Philip Pullman. I also was obsessed with The Edge Chronicles and I would study Chris Riddell’s illustrations obsessively.
If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I guess I would be Winnie the Pooh. He is someone that seems to have it all figured out. He's very humble and never takes life too seriously. I think I could learn from that.
What is the best thing about reading?
That moment you forget that you are reading and just get completely lost in the story. I sometimes find reading very hard as I have dyslexia, but it's a great feeling.
What is your all time favourite book?
That's a hard question. One I have found myself returning to over the years is The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan. It really transports me to the way I looked at the world as a kid and I find it very comforting.
Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
It sounds strange but I think face-to-face conversation is a huge skill. Getting lost in a good conversation can be so rewarding. It's the best way to feel really connected to someone else.
How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My mum played a massive part. I have dyslexia so writing stories was always a struggle but she told me to just focus on the content. She would spend ages deciphering what I had written and help me get it to make sense. It really built my confidence.
How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I have neither but if I do have kids I would just make sure to read them amazing stories. It would show them all the great adventures they would be missing out on if they didn't read themselves.
Joe Todd-Stanton studied in Bristol at UWE university and currently lives in South London. His second book The Secret of Black Rock was released this year.
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