A J Grainger

A J Grainger lives in London, where she works as a children's books editor. She loves writing and editing because it means she gets to talk about books all day. Captive, her first novel, was named 'One to Watch' by The Bookseller. She is currently working on a second book.

Q. What books did you read as a child?
A.I loved anything by Roald Dahl, but especially The Witches and The Twits. I also enjoyed reading the Nancy Drew series and when I was older, Point Horrors and Judy Blume.

Q. If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?
A. Lyra from His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Q. What is the best thing about reading?
A. Imagining different worlds.

Q. What is your all time favourite book?
A. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Q. Other than reading what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children's communication skills?
A. I don’t have children yet, but I have watched friends and family members engaging their little ones in conversation from the time they are babies. Even though the conversation is rather one-sided at first, commenting on what is going on in the world around children does seem to really help increase their vocabulary. Building sentences around a child's first words or fractured phrases seems to help too.

Q. How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A. My parents have always been very encouraging of anything I have done, and I feel very lucky about that. Books and reading were a big part of my childhood. My mum and dad are both avid readers, and some of my earliest memories are of them reading to me at bedtime. My dad and I particularly loved A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Dad and I still talk about books a lot − what we have read, what we would like to read as well as recommending books to each other.

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