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'I remember thinking I should probably read something, just as in a bar you should probably drink something. I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up, but that day I needed something stronger. I was so desperate I found myself in the poetry section. '
'I come from a long line of home-grown storytellers. At extended family gatherings my mother would cook big pots of fragrant Indian food and suddenly stories about our beloved farm close to the Himalaya would spring into the conversation.'
'What genre would Shakespeare be? His works contain horror, history, myth, fantasy, ghosts, crime. Dickens, too. I always have a Dickens on the go, and dip in just as I would a giant bag of pick and mix. I want a novel to have it all; why not?'
26-10-2023

Michaela Morgan speaks with Ann Morgan about becoming a reader by accident, writing for reluctant readers, using stories to unlock people and the importance of not writing down to children.

'To write, to read — these are beautiful and slow activities, but in this part of the world – pandemics aside – the character of our lives is less and less amenable to such pursuits. Boredom is to be fled from, and can be! Reading versus Netflix? '
Of course I read for enjoyment, escape, information, learning, to walk for a few hours in other landscapes and other lives, but at the heart of it all I was trying to figure out how it was done. Like an amateur magician keenly observing repeated tricks.
Reading. Breathing. No TV, just books, just us. In those few days, I fell in love with Agatha Christie and all things murder mystery. It’s something that’s stayed with me all my life. It’s my go-to literature for relaxing. The thing that connects me to my dad.
I remember the first book I bought with money I had saved up. Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I read it in one sitting. The Uxbridge Waterstones where I’d hold my reading sessions. That journey of finding a book and letting it take you elsewhere was a special one and I cherished it.
'I remember the thrill of excitement that went through me. Here was my favourite TV programme in book form! It was like a dream come true. I wanted both books, but opted for the non-Dalek one because it had a multi-tentacled creature on the cover. '
'Inspiration and good writing don’t just come from sitting at a desk, no matter how good the view. For me, ideas come in flashes when I’m in a hurry, out-of-place and out-and-about. Twists and truths present themselves when I’m walking the dog. '
'Select a book from my shelves, open it and you’ll find an unconventional bookmark — a Post-it note, a child’s drawing, even a prescription for folic acid never collected. My bookshelves contain secrets; I plot my life through the books I’ve read.'
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