Taran was born in London in 1990 to a Brazilian mother and Indian father. His love of stories developed into a desire to create his own at a very early age, writing his first book at nine-years-old. At the age of 22, after graduating with a first class degree in Business Administration, Matharu began to write Summoner; the success of this novel on Wattpad convinced Matharu to launch his professional writing career.
Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: Gosh, I read pretty much my entire school library when I was a child, but the books that I enjoyed the most in those days were Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Darren Shan’s Vampire’s Assistant series and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series.
Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: Probably Artemis Fowl. A teenage mastermind millionaire with a penchant for fairy gold? Count me in!
Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: To paraphrase George R. R. Martin, a mind needs a book as a sword needs a whetstone, to stay sharp. But perhaps more importantly, it is fuel for the imagination and allows the reader to live a thousand lives.
Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: The answer to this question changes quite often, but for now it is Birds of Prey by Wilbur Smith. Other favourite books have included Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, The Descent by Jeff Long and Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan.
Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: When I was a child, I was such a heavy reader that the teachers at my school asked my parents to stop buying me books, as it was getting in the way of my socialising with other children! Now that I am older, I agree with their advice. Giving children time to interact with others is key to their development of communication skills. Solitary reading has many merits but to put it simply, reading teaches children the theory of communication, socialising allows them to practice it.
Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: My father was very focussed on my education, but far less so on recreational writing. My mother, on the other hand, was very encouraging, showing off my stories to family and friends, as well as setting aside time for me to write. Were it not for my mother, I would not be writing this article today. That is why my debut novel, The Novice, is dedicated to her.
Q: How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
A: I don’t have any children, as I am relatively young for a children’s book author, only 24 years old. That being said, when I interact with my younger cousins and family friends, I like to lend them books that I enjoyed during my own childhood, with a set time for them to return it. It encourages them to read it as they know I will want it back, and we can have a conversation about the book when it is returned.
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