Sibéal Pounder

What books did you read when you were a child?
I loved any book with a witch in it – Meg and Mog, Winnie the Witch and The Worst Witch. I also loved Roald Dahl’s books, Alice in Wonderland, The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson… So many…

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
One of the mermaids in Peter Pan! They play a game that involves chucking giant, multi-coloured bubbles across the lagoon. It sounds a lot like dodgeball.

What is the best thing about reading?
Reading whisks you away to new worlds and it’s great for fuelling your imagination. There are only so many details a writer can fill in, so your brain can go wild and fill in the rest!

What is your all time favourite book?
It’s so difficult to choose, but probably The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. I would sleep with it under my pillow.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
One thing that helped me was that my parents focused on the creativity in my stories, rather than getting overly concerned with bad spelling! That comes with time. Building my confidence first really helped.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
They were very supportive of reading, which in turn fuelled my love of stories and my interest in writing my own. They would often take me to the library.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I’d recommend parents read whatever their child picks from the bookshop or library shelves! Any reading is good reading – and I still remember the books I discovered myself.

Sibeal Pounder is the author of the bestselling Witch Wars and Bad Mermaids series. Her latest book, Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks, is out now.

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