1 – What is your earliest memory of books and reading?
There are three things:
1) Lying on the floor for hours going through my Story Tellers over and over again.
2) My mom having to fight with the school librarian to allow me to take books out of the big kids’ section.
3) A huge fat book of illustrated nursery rhymes that I basically dragged with me everywhere.
2 – As a small child, what book/s were your favourite?
I was hugely into talking animal books, like Colin Dann’s Animals of Farthing Wood books, and from there I came to fantasy and got really into Diana Wynne Jones. Her book Dogsbody was probably *the* book that made me a writer, and a writer of the fantastic and strange.
3 – Where did you grow up? Do you have a particular memory of a library, bookshop or other place of books in your hometown?
I started off in Cape Town, then was dragged across country on a train and ended up in Joburg, where I spent the rest of my childhood. I hung out at my local library a lot – I was reading six books a day. In the end they gave me a job as a library page, purely I think because I was always there and they didn’t know how to get rid of me.
4 – As an adult, in the role of parent or caregiver, what has been your experience of reading with children?
I confess I hate reading aloud. I read pretty fast and reading aloud means slowing down and well…slowing down. I can find it rather frustrating. I made sure my kids could read as soon as possible so I didn’t have to read to them. They’re both massive readers so it doesn’t seem to have hurt them.