Mark Powers

What books did you read when you were a child?
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Benjamin the donkey from Animal Farm by George Orwell. He's no one's fool!

What is the best thing about reading?
Being able to travel anywhere in time and space! Nowhere is off-limits to the imagination.

What is your all-time favourite book?
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I instantly fell in love with the author's crazy wit.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Make sure the child spends lots of time with their friends. Peer groups play an important part in childhood development.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
Huge. They always enjoyed the stories I wrote in school and they bought me a typewriter!

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I have no children or grandchildren but the only way really to encourage people to read is to let them know how much fun it is. If reading becomes or chore or something a child does to please a parent then that's a sure way to suck all the joy out of it.

Mark Powers grew up in north Wales and now lives in Manchester. He sold his first piece of writing to a Radio 4 comedy show at the age of 17. His new book SPY TOYS is out on January 12th.

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