Each half term Get Norfolk Reading puts our questions to a different author who writes amazing children’s stories.
First up is Isabelle King, author of ‘The Norfolk Story Book’, an imaginative collection of stories which combine local history with imagination and fun – and which we highly recommend!
What were your favourite books as a child?
So many! Anything with animals, books which particularly spring to mind are ‘Olga Da Polga’ by Michael Bond - I just loved the idea of this mischievous, determined guinea pig making friends and having adventures. Certainly books by Dick King Smith, in particular ‘The Hodgeheg.’
Anything by Roald Dahl, I loved how all his books were so fantastically imaginative with such a playful sense of humour.
Anne Fine and Jacqueline Wilson were favourites - we read their books at school. They were smart, funny and sparked some really interesting discussions in class.
Which children’s or young adult books you have most enjoyed reading recently?
I recently re-read some teenage favourites - Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ Series. They are such stunning, vibrant and powerful books. I love the character of Lyra - feisty and unstoppable with a big heart.
I also very much enjoyed Frances Hardinge ‘The Lie Tree.’ It’s beautifully written and I loved the way it kept me guessing!
Where’s your favourite place to read?
Anywhere! I suppose the Library would be a real gem of a reading location. Of course!
What are your books about?
My books combine local history with imagination and fun. I love to write about characters who overcome obstacles, usually with a little help from their friends. Friendship is always at the heart of my stories, in one way or another. I also love to write about animals and will find all possible excuses to get as many animals in a book as I can, as if excuses are needed! Oh, and food! My current book is called ‘The Norfolk Story Book’ and I have a new book coming soon…
What was the first story you can remember writing?
When I was very young, I wrote stories in which I went on adventures with a dragon. He liked to melt cheese for sandwiches and toast marshmallows - we were both very food-orientated in our adventures. I really should go back and finish writing those.
What age were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
As soon as I knew what a writer was, I started writing. I’m not sure what age that was exactly - certainly a small number!
What are you most likely to be found doing when you are not writing or reading?
Probably talking about writing or reading. I run storytelling events, author talks and creative writing workshops in schools, libraries and museums. Some of these events are called ‘Books Talk Back’ events which is the name of my Prince’s Trust supported enterprise. When I’m not doing that I like to go out, meet people, make friends, have adventures. I enjoy dancing, comedy improv, climbing hills…
What’s your favourite / most used phrase?
A cup of tea please.
Do you have any pets?
A cat called Fifi, a creative cat who helps me with writing - she’s got a sharp eye for editing. When I was younger, I had a guinea pig named after Olga Da Polga.
What’s your favourite food?
Cheese. All of the cheese.
And finally, finish the sentence: Every time you open a book, you…
Unlock your imagination, explore new worlds, make friends, discover possibilities and have fun!
Find out more about Isabelle King at http://www.isabelleking.net/