Zillah Bethell

What books did you read when you were a child?
Malory Towers, of course (I was fascinated by lacrosse and midnight feasts) and I also used to trawl junk shops for old school annuals. I have one from 1952!

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
George from The Famous Five or Velvet Brown from National Velvet. Both tomboys like I was.

What is the best thing about reading?
Escaping reality.

What is your all-time favourite book?
1984 by George Orwell.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Be genuinely interested in their opinions.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
They had books in the house and no television!

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
We always do the Summer Reading Challenge and we listen to audio books in the car on the way to gymnastics. CS Lewis, JK Rowling, Enid Blyton, Charles Dickens.

Zillah Bethell was born in Papua New Guinea and now lives in Wales with lots of rescue animals and rain. Her new new book The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare is about a world where rain has become scarce!

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