Lisa Thompson

What books did you read when you were a child?
I was a big fan of Enid Blyton and especially The Famous Five books. I even joined the Famous Five Fan Club! I was also a loyal reader of The Beano.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Definitely George from The Famous Five.

What is the best thing about reading?
I still think it’s amazing that you can feel such strong emotions from a book. They can make you laugh, cry, fill you with utter terror or make you want to dance around the house – all purely from words on a page. I think that is magical.

What is your all time favourite book?
That is such a hard question! I think it’s an adult’s book called Perfume by Patrick Sϋskind. Your sense of smell will never be the same again after reading this book.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I’m a big fan of radio so I’d say when you’re not reading to listen to radio plays, podcasts, audiobooks etc. Your ears are great sponges!

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
I wrote a poem at a young age that was pinned to the classroom wall and from that point on my mum always encouraged me to write but to be honest, most of the time I didn’t listen to her. My dad was far more encouraging with reading and introduced me to authors like Michael Crichton, Ken Follett and Stephen King.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I recommend books to my children that I think they’d like but at the end of the day I think it’s important for them to discover books themselves (even if it is frustrating when they reject a book that I know they’d love!). My teenage son now passes his books on to me. We don’t read aloud to each other anymore but I have great memories of reading Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale over and over – it has such a beautiful rhythm.

Lisa Thompson worked as a Radio Broadcast Assistant first at the BBC and then for an independent production company making plays and comedy programmes. During this time she got to make tea for lots of famous people. She grew up in Essex and now lives in Suffolk with her family. The Goldfish Boy is her debut novel.

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson is published by Scholastic 5 January 2017

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