My own reading has been a great inspiration for my writing. As a child, I was mad about Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree, Mallory Towers and The Famous Five. I loved Clive King's Stig of the Dump and Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking. Huckleberry Finn and Swallows and Amazons were also big favourites - anything with adventure or strong characters getting themselves into difficult situations. I loved thinking about what I would do right in the middle of one of these stories. As an adult, lots of the advice given by Stephen King in his On Writing resonated with me, as did Dorothea Brande's 1938 Becoming a Writer. David Almond's Skellig, Philip Pullman's Northern Lights and Li Cunxin's Mao's Last Dancer all drew me in completely to their very different worlds. Images also play a big part in influencing and inspiring my writing. Here are some of my favourites.