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1) What is your favourite book of all time?
I hate having to choose just one book, as there are so many. But the book that had the biggest effect on me when I was young was probably ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
2) Why do you love reading?
It’s like your mind is a games console, and the books are the games. Reading them is like slotting them into your head and letting them play out in your imagination. Or it’s like being able to get into somebody else’s imagination, taking it all in at a time and at a speed that suits you.
3) What advice would you give to both adults and children to help them to make more time for reading?
Whenever you find yourself flicking through the television channels and can’t choose something to watch, pick up a book and read instead. And don’t let other people choose your reading material for you – reading for pleasure should be exactly that, a pleasure.
4) Is there a reading or book related memory/tip that you would like to share with young readers around the country?
People sometimes forget that you can get books for FREE from your library. And most of the people who work in libraries or bookshops are happy to order a book in for you, if you can’t find it on their shelves – never be shy about asking. And it’s great for them to hear what you like, so TELL THEM.
5) What are your must-reads?
Children's book: ‘The Hobbit’
Adult’s book: ‘Catch 22’
6) Who is your favourite author?
When I was a young kid, it was probably Roald Dahl. But again, I hate having to choose just one.
7) Where is your favourite place to read?
In my sitting room – after the kids have gone to bed!
8) How did you get into writing?
I’ve been writing for most of my life, but I finally got published in 2003 after persistently pitching my first novel to agents in Britain, and then finding a publisher in Ireland who took four books almost in one go. By that time, I had two novels and two ‘Mad Grandad’ books written.
9) Any advice for budding authors?
Write the kinds of stories you love reading. You’ll be doing it for free for a long time, so you might as well enjoy it, so you’ll keep doing it. And never quit. Apart from that, you can find some more detailed tips on my website at: http://www.oisinmcgann.com/extras/writingtips.html
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