Kathryn Evans

What books did you read when you were a child?
When I was younger I loved Mrs Pepperpot and Flat Stanley. The first novel I read was Watership Down - I sobbed buckets! I read anything I could get my hands on – I basically lived in the library.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Paddington – he has the best of everything. A place of his own, a family to hang out with and a diet of marmalade sandwiches.

What is the best thing about reading?
Losing yourself in other worlds, stepping into someone else’s skin for a bit. It’s the most amazing kind of magic.

What is your all time favourite book?
It used to be Wuthering Heights but I have read SO MUCH since then that I couldn’t possible choose. Harry Potter would be up there though.

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

Talk to them – and listen. From birth, all children are seeking to be understood, just make time to do that. Show them what they’re saying matters. Even if it is the millionth time they’ve asked you “why”. “Why” is good. “Why” is the route to all knowledge.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
There were always books in our house and going to the library was routine. I guess it was more a general thing – my dad encouraged us to believe that if we worked hard enough, we’d achieve.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I have two children and I have treated them exactly the same – reading to them every day, giving them books, allowing them to see books as playful things. We all love Jeanne Willis Dr Xargle books, and my son loved Horrid Henry. Once my daughter was reading independently she really enjoyed the My Diary books – and of course, Harry Potter. But, though they both loved to be read to, still do even though one is 21 and the other 15! One has grown up to be a reader and the other hasn’t. My son just wants to be out on his bike. So I buy him mountain bike books and magazines and he reads those and I hope that one day, he’ll discover the joy of fiction.

Kathryn Evans is a poster girl for tenacity, taking well over ten years to achieve her dream of being a published author with her debut YA novel More of Me.

More of Me is the story of Teva. She seems normal, but at home she hides an impossible secret: 11 other Tevas. Because once a year, Teva splits into two, leaving a younger version of herself stuck at the same age, forced to watch the new Teva taking over her life. But at 16, Teva’s had enough. She’s going to fight for her future - even if that means fighting herself.

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