Laura Wood

What books did you read when you were a child?
All sorts of books! I loved my local library more than any other place on earth. Favourites included Anne of Green Gables, the Malory Towers books, Matilda, anything by Judy Bloom, and the entire Babysitter's Club series.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
When I'm stuck I always ask myself: What would Anne Shirley do? I would love to be Anne!

What is the best thing about reading?
That feeling when you come up for air and realise you've been somewhere else, someone else for the last few hours. Reading is so powerful.

What is your all-time favourite book?
So difficult! Can I say Anne of Green Gables again? Or Eva Ibbotson's 'A Company of Swans', or 'The Secret Countess', or anything by Georgette Heyer. Can I have a top 20?

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

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A HUGE part. I wouldn't be doing this job I absolutely love if it wasn't for my parents' constant encouragement and support. 

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I don't have children or grandchildren yet, but reading the Mr. Gum books aloud to my giggling niece and nephew will always be one of my favourite memories.

 Laura Wood was the winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children's Writing in 2014. She is currently completing her PhD in English Literature at the University of Warwick. Her second book, Poppy Pym and the Double Jinx is on sale now.

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