Martyn Ford

What books did you read when you were a child?
I was quite picky when I was small, but remember reading lots of Roald Dahl. Particularly George’s Marvellous Medicine. On repeat. I too have made some potions in my time.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
The problem is the best characters, in the best stories, have lots of bad things happen to them. I prefer not to be in horrible, perilous situations. Mind you, Peter Pan can fly…

What is the best thing about reading?
It’s entertaining. Also, words are important. And reading helps you learn new ones. Like lycanthropy (a disorder where you think you’re a wolf even though you’re not a wolf).

What is your all time favourite book?
I don’t have one. Or, I have a few, and I can’t pick the best. The first that came to mind was Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything. It’s amazing.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Interact with to them. Put them in situations where they interact with other people too. Language gets better the more you use it. Like a musical instrument, you have to play.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A huge part. I wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for them. They were supportive of anything I did. They encouraged me, but also let me figure stuff out for myself. Freedom is important.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
Allow them to guide you. If they want to read about fairies, or football, or how a pencil factory works, let them. Reading something is almost always better than not reading.

Martyn Ford is a journalist from Hampshire. His debut novel, The Imagination Box, received huge critical acclaim, and was soon followed by The Imagination Box: Beyond Infinity and The Imagination Box: A Mind of its Own. His first standalone title, Chester Parsons is Not a Gorilla, will be published on March 7, 2019.

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