What books did you read when you were a child?
I was a big fan of animal stories, especially those with horses in them. My favorites were a series called Jinny at Finmory by Patricia Leitch. I also loved 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, and The Moomins stories by Tove Jansson.
If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Probably Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter stories, because she’s so smart and keeps the boys in check!
What is the best thing about reading?
In only two sentences?! It’s the chance to escape to other worlds and experiences, to go on adventures, to learn about different ways of living. It’s a magical experience.
What is your all time favourite book?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. There’s so much to it. Every time I read it, I find something new to think about, which for me is the sign of a brilliant book.
Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I come at this as an ex-teacher rather than a parent, but my experience has been that children do like face-to-face talking time. It helps grow their confidence in expressing opinions and feeling that their voice is heard, as well as learning to listen to others.
How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A huge one! My parents came from working class parents, so fully understood the concept of hard-graft. They valued education very much- I was taken to the library every Saturday. There was never any shortage of books in our house!
How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I’d definitely recommend The Moomins stories by Tove Jansson for 5-8 year olds. They’re quirky, imaginative and full of the most wonderful characters. The illustrations are brilliant too.
Emma Carroll was an English teacher before becoming a full-time writer for children. Both her recent novels Letters from the Lighthouse and Secrets of a Sun King have been selected for the coveted Waterstones Book of the Month slot. She likes ghost stories, feminism and dogs. In another life she wishes she would have written ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier.
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