Tom Palmer writes spy and detective books based in the world of football. His new book is called 'Black Op' and is set in Poland just before Euro 2012 kicks off.
Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: At first, I struggled with books, to be honest. But I liked reading newspapers and magazines. It was reading about sport in newspapers that helped me become a more confident reader. Then I stated enjoying books too.
Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: I would be the dad in Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. I love the way he has fun with his son and how they make up outrageous plans together.
Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: For me, reading opened the world up. I read about exciting places that I had never heard of before. That made me want to visit them. I love travelling. Most of my journeys are inspired by stories I have read. I like setting my stories in new countries, so that I can visit them too.
Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: Talk to them. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, talk. Go for walks and talk. Sit opposite each other for meals and talk. Take them somewhere new and talk about what you see and hear. And, just as important, listen to them.
Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: A large part: by getting me into reading. My mum encouraged me to read through my passion: football. It started in newspapers and magazines, then I moved onto books too. My dad helped in a way too. Although he died young, he left an amazing library of books to us. Once confident at reading I discovered hundreds of great authors in his shelves.
Q: How do you encourage your daughter to read?
A: We go to the library and choose books together. I sometimes buy her books from bookshops. I try to think about what she is interested in and find the right books – or magazines. If we are going on holiday somewhere I will look for something about the place we are going to. The books I have liked reading with her most are the Jake Cake series by Michael Broad and a book called Don’t Let Go. Before that we read a set of books about two cats called Ginger and Olly, by Ed Vere. They are called It’s Raining, It’s Snowing, It’s Windy andIt’s Sunny.
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