The line-up is so starry and fantastic that it’s hard to choose but I am perhaps looking forward the most to discovering so many new writers I don’t yet know, especially from UAE.
Which book has inspired you the most?
I think the book that first made me want to try writing stories myself was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis. It is not perfect and perhaps even seems dated to modern eyes, but it was the right book for me at the right time, and opened my imagination to the potential of story.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I take the dog out for a walk and shiver!
What is your life’s motto?
I don’t really have a motto but I believe in taking each day as it comes. You can’t change the past and no-one can predict the future so I like to make the most of now. And also, never believe what you read in the papers.
Our theme for the 2017 Festival is Journeys. Can you tell us which journeys in your life have been most memorable?
It wasn’t until I had finished The Last Wild that I realised it had been subconsciously inspired by a walk I took with my best friend when I was 12. We were staying on the remote Scottish island of Colonsay and decided to walk round the whole island in a day (it is very small!). We made friends with a cat, a seagull, a mouse and a rabbit who followed us all the way back to the hotel. They weren’t used to humans, essentially, on this barely inhabited isle. But I think the idea of a boy leading a convoy of creatures around an island buried itself deep into my mind…