1. Who is your all-time favourite author, and why?
Terry Pratchett. I accidentally discovered his genius in the summer of 1992 whilst bored on a family holiday in the Lake District. I picked up two books – one was Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (which is excellent, by the way, and far better than the film), the other was The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett. I was blown away by the story and the style – and immediately vowed to search out all his other work. The Discworld series really sealed it for me – the man is nothing short of being a God in the writing world! His books never fail to entertain me and there is always some witty link back to something in the “round world”.
2. Who was your first favourite author, and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favourites?
Astrid Lindgren. I picked up a copy of Ronia, The Robbers Daughter when I was about 10 years old and was transported to a world where the real world collided with another filled with mystery and magic. The characters are wonderful and the writing is enchanting. I read it again a little while back and was pleased to find it was every bit as wonderful as I remembered – it’s still a 10/10 book and has appeal for readers of all ages.
3. Who’s the most recent addition to your list of favourite authors, and why?
Margaret Mitchell. I very recently read Gone With The Wind for the first time and i was, if you’ll excuse the pun, completely blown away! It’s the book I most recently rated 5/5 (there have only been a very small handful this year so far) and one I know I’ll read again in years to come and still find as fresh as the first time.
4. If someone asked you who your favourite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on a moment of further reflection?
Straight off, I’d have to list Terry Pratchett, Simon Scarrow, Kelley Armstrong and C S Lewis – those are the ones that jump out of my head immediately. If I think a tiny bit harder (and really, it doesn’t take much to bring these spinning out either!), I’d add Ben Elton, Stuart Macbride, Christopher Brookmyre, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, A A Milne, Kenneth Grahame, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, Philippa Gregory, Neil Gaiman and P G Wodehouse. And that’s just a start. I have literally hundreds of favourites who I rate highly for a variety of different reasons and depending on my mood.
5. Which “unknown” author do you recommend to people most often?
I’m a huge fan of Gerald Brom (most commonly known simply as Brom). His illustrated novels, The Plucker and The Devil’s Rose are works of dark and brooding beauty, both in words and pictures. These are not picture books for children, but for adults, depicting a world of horror and fantasy, but with a delicately perverse edge to the characters that both repels and compels. His first full-length novel, The Child Thief, spins a raw and earthy version of the Peter Pan legend, making it pithy and believable. I highly recommend Brom to everyone, even if they don’t ordinarily like graphic or illustrated novels, as once you crack open the covers, I guarantee you’ll be captivated and unable to put them down!
It’s worth mentioning, I rated all three of these books 5/5…