F. E. Higgins

F. E. Higgins lives and works in a rambling Edwardian house in rural Kent near the most haunted village in England. The Black Book of Secrets, her debut novel, was the first SUNDAY TIMES Children’s Book of the Week in 2007. There are now four stories in the series, the latest being The Lunatics Curse with another one due for publication later this year.

Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: I read anything I could get my hands on! Five Children and It, Travelling Magic, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, all the Narnia books, a great book called At the Back of the North Wind, Daddy Long Legs, myths and legends, Marianne Dreams, Harriet the Spy…to name but a few of the ones I have never forgotten.

Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: I would like to be any character who travels in time or can make themselves invisible.

Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: Having fabulous adventures in the safety and comfort of a chair by the fire.

Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: Such a hard question! Today I would say City of Masks by Mary Hoffman but tomorrow it might be different.

Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: I think it is vital that children are allowed to talk without being interrupted. It’s very easy as a busy adult to get frustrated when a child takes a long time to say something.

Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: My parents always encouraged me when I expressed an interest in writing and were very happy to provide paper and pencil! That was all that was needed in those days, though they did give me a typewriter when I was older…

Q: How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
A: I think the best way to encourage a child to read is to find something they are interested in, be it comics, diaries, books with some or lots of pictures, encyclopaedias or illustrated dictionaries. It is very easy for a child to lose interest if they are forced to read something that an adult thinks is ‘good for them’. I like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, these books make me laugh out loud.

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