Sam Gayton

What books did you read when you were a child?
I remember several that had a really big impact on me. First was a book by Michael Foreman book called Dinosaurs And All That Rubbish, that had dinosaurs AND spaceships in it. Second was listening to my teacher Mrs Harvey reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as we all sat on the carpet (I always tried to get the toasty space by the radiator). Finally, Redwall by Brian Jacques, about talking wood animals that get attacked by an army of rats. It’s still one of the only big books I’ve ever finished in one read.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I’d be Gulliver, from Gulliver’s Travels, because he gets to go on the coolest holidays.

What is the best thing about reading?
Reading is the oldest and truest type of magic there is. It allows you to travel through time and space and read people’s thoughts. If you are a reader, you are actually a sort of wizard – and like all wizards, you have the power to change the world.

What is your all-time favourite book? 
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, which has one of my all-time favourite first lines in it, too: ‘The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff.’ It sends shivers through me every time.

Sam Gayton’s latest book is Hercufleas, about a very tiny hero with unbeFLEAvable power. He lives by the sea in a high and leaky house. When he’s not writing books, he likes eating grilled cheese sandwiches, playing old board games, and joining as many rock bands as possible (currently seven).

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