Katherine Rundell

What books did you read when you were a child?
I read everything I could get my hands on – fantasy, picture books, comics, lengthy Victorian novels which I didn’t entirely understand – I was constantly on the hunt for books.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Lyra in Northern Lights. I’d like to be able to read the alethiometre.

What is the best thing about reading?
Books crowbar the world open for you - every book you read makes your imagination larger.

What is your all time favourite book?
That’s much too hard a question! If I absolutely had to pick, probably Emma, by Jane Austen.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I would say, talk to them. Have conversations about the world – about politics, films, archaeology, magic, sport, engineering – anything and everything.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
I have wonderful parents, who encouraged me in everything I did – they kept my stories, and spoke to me about them, and that helped enormously.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I would say something both adults and children can love – The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean might be a good place to start.

Katherine Rundell is the bestselling author of Rooftoppers, which won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Award in 2014. She is also the author of The Explorer, The Wolf Wilder and The Girl Savage. Katherine was born in 1987 and grew up in Africa and Europe. In 2008 she was elected a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She lives in London.

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