Sophie Anderson

What books did you read when you were a child?
I loved the magical world of The Moomins, created by Tove Jansson; the thrilling adventures of Alanna, written by Tamora Pierce; and the everyday struggles of Anne of Green Gables, written by L. M. Montgomery.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A mermaid! I’d love to explore the underwater world, and to swim so fast it felt like flying.

What is the best thing about reading?
The magical ability to visit different places and live different lives, just by opening a book and getting lost in its pages.

What is your all time favourite book?
Anne of Green Gables, because each time I open it, I feel like I’m 11 years old again, reading it for the very first time.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Fill their lives with music, art, drama, dance, and lots of opportunities for imaginative play.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A huge part! My parents always encouraged my brothers and I to make up stories of our own and share them with the family – through puppet shows, or story-telling, or by creating our own little hand-written books.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
Bedtime stories have always been a ritual. My three children and I often choose a book each, then I’ll read a chapter from them all. That way we share a variety of story types, and often discover new things to love!

Sophie Anderson grew up in Swansea, studied at Liverpool University, and has worked as a geologist and science teacher in several parts of the UK. She now lives in the Lake District with her family, where she enjoys the freedom of home schooling her three children, walking, canoeing, and daydreaming.
Her debut novel, The House with Chicken Legs is publishing with Usborne on 3 May.

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