Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I'm sure children at school are encouraged to read, and that their teachers are for the most part very diligent and are bravely trying to nurture their young imaginations. But to answer a greater question: No, I don't think children are reading enough, and who could blame them. Books now-a-days have to compete against iPads and Angry birds and Netflix and Youtube, books are more of a discipline than that, and are only gratifying if you take the time for them. So I would say, children need to be unplugged, to let their imaginations grow, or we will be raising a very shallow next generation, which is no good for them, or for the children that will come after them.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I think I've been a writer for years, I just didn't know what to call it. When I was younger, I read through a lot of the classics, old science-fiction novels and adventures, and I was always trying to create things, or to be artistic in some way.
And when I started high school, I began to write really awful poetry, which morphed into awkward songwriting when I discovered the guitar in tenth grade, and which eventually would become fairly decent songwriting after ten years, and then became fiction writing. But since the beginning, I think I've always been a writer, I just wasn't ready for it yet.
Hands down, without a doubt, C.S. Lewis was my favorite author, and still is. But I also read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, which I thought was very good.
Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Voyage of the Dawn Treader was a gem to read. First of all, because I love sailing, and exploration, and I thought the story was so unique and intriguing. And secondly, because it's a very deeply moral book, and each island they travel to is another lesson on life, which some people may think would be lost on children, and that deep issues will go over their heads, but I don't think that's the case.
Did you have a favorite genre of book as a child? ie fictional, non-fiction, history, educational,adventure,romance,animals, pets,etc etc?
As a child my favorite genre was fiction, especially stories about traveling to other worlds, or exciting new explorations. Which I think led me in a round about way to first writing In the Window Room, which is a an adventure story about such a thing, and in fact, if I had not written The Histories of Earth series, they would have been just sort of books I'd liked to have read as young boy.