Juliette Forrest

What books did you read when you were a child?
Anything and everything from Aesop’s fables to Tintin. My mum was a teacher, so would bring home masses of books, as well as take me on regular visits to the library. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Not so much of a character, but a place. I desperately wanted The Enchanted Wood from the Enid Blyton stories to be real and if I ever went into a forest, I would press my ear against the trees in the hope I could hear them whispering their secrets.

What is the best thing about reading?
For me, it nurtured my imagination, which I am extremely grateful for.

What is your all time favourite book?
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Some of my earliest memories are of my dad teaching me about plants and animals out on walks. I believe spending time together in the great outdoors can develop better communication skills.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
I liked writing as a child and always remember scribbling things in notebooks and diaries. My parents tended to encourage me more in the subjects I was awful at.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
Try something a bit different. When I was ten, my dad read me books by Dylan Thomas, Laurie Lee and the poems of Norman MacCaig. I was spellbound listening to the beautiful words and loved them just as much as children’s novels.

Juliette Forrest has worked for some of the UK’s top advertising agencies as both a copywriter and an art director. She became a Scottish Book Trust New Writer awardee in 2014, and her debut children’s novel, Twister, was published by Scholastic in February 2018.

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