What books did you read when you were a child?
I loved fantasy books of all types after first reading The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkein. My favourites were The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea and The Borribles by Michael De Larrabeiti.
If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I would love to be someone from the Harry Potter world, so I could use magic. Professor Lupin is my favourite character. It would also be great to be someone from Philip Pullman’s books, so I could have my own daemon. I think it would be a sloth.
What is the best thing about reading?
Absolutely the best thing is that it can transport you to other worlds. Just shut the door, open a book and disappear into another universe.
What is your all time favourite book?
How can I pick just one?! I would have to say The Hobbit because it had such a huge influence on my life.
Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Listening and talking. But mostly listening. Talking over books together (or anything else) helps develop language and understanding.
How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
Well, they were very good at giving me lots of books to read when I was young, but I’m afraid they never took much interest in my writing. I think they thought it was just a crazy hobby of mine, right up until I got published!
How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I let my children choose which books interest them most, and we read them together. I think it’s important that they follow their own fascinations. I also think it’s important for them to see adults reading, so we try and have times when everyone reads together. My eldest daughter and I have just started working our way through the Harry Potter series together, and she loves it as much as I do!
Kieran Larwood lives on the Isle of Wight, where he worked as a primary school teacher for fifteen long years. He now writes full time. He won the Times Children’s Fiction prize with his first book, Freaks, and the Blue Peter Book Award 2017 for his second book, Podkin One-Ear. The second instalment in Podkin’s story is released in September.
Photograph by Red Photographic
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