I am pleased to welcome debut author, AJ Grainger, onto the blog today to tell us about her childhood days.
This picture probably sums me up as a child. I was always happiest when I was either reading a book or had a pencil in my hand and was scribbling down stories or drawing pictures.
My parents divorced when I was quite young, so I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when my mum was working. My grandad had this fabulous cupboard full of paper, colouring pencils, pens, glitter, sequins, buttons – everything a creative eight-year-old could possibly want! I would spend hours writing stories and then illustrating them or creating puzzles and board games. Sadly all of my creations have been lost. I’m sure they were amazing, though. (Ahem.) Looking at my job now (I’m a writer and an editor), I'd say I haven’t really changed. I am still happiest with a book, either one I’m reading, writing or editing.
Books have always been important to me. My parents are great readers, especially my dad. We rarely have a conversation that doesn't involve discussing the latest book we’re reading. His favourite children’s book is A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and I can’t see a copy now without remembering him reading the stories to me when I was little.
Ivy Cottage by E. J. Taylor was one of the first books I remember reading to myself. The book was a favourite of my mum’s, probably because of the really cute illustrations. She is great at drawing and would copy the pictures for me to colour in.
I’m so glad that my mum kept so many of favourite books from my childhood, including my Rupert and Twinkle annuals. I can’t wait to read them to my own kids, when I have them.
A. J. Grainger is an author and children’s books editor. Her debut novel, Captive (published by Simon & Schuster) was named ‘One to Watch’ by The Bookseller and was listed as one of The Telegraph’s best YA books of 2015. Her second novel is due out in spring 2016.
Buy Captive from your local bookshop or online at Amazon, Book Depository, Waterstones.com and WHSmith.