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1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 

My dream job is to be on Play School.

2. What is your nickname?
Sam, Sammy, Samba, Boundy, Smellen, Sambam, Bambi, Sebsy, SEMB… I am quite liberal with my giving of nicknames so I have to expect a few in return.

3. What is your greatest fear?
I am going to cheat on this and say my biggest fear at the moment is my current deadline (for the final Wherewithal book). It is haunting me day and night; a real wake-in-the-midnight-hours type of spectre! But I will conquer it!

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
A warm, whimsical infusion of folklore, fairytales and mythology

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Committed, genuine, free-spirited, creative, curious

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Doctor Who’s companion. I know this is a television series but there are also books so it counts. This (apart from being on Play School), is my greatest wish in life.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
The Victorian era has a big hold on my heart, but the chance to see a dinosaur really clinches the deal, so it’s a year in the Cretaceous period for me.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Have you found the faerie portal yet?

9. Who is your greatest influence?
Author-wise, it’s British author Frances Hardinge. Her books move seamlessly between middle-grade and YA audiences, and are so beautifully strange, unique, intelligent and imaginative. She takes the most unusual concepts and turns them into these expansive, totally immersive stories that infuse magical realism, fantasy, myth, and speculative fiction. I desire to be as brave and creative with my own fiction.

10. What/who made you start writing?
Being read to as a young child, being encouraged to read, being exposed to books. The first fairytales I read forever set my imagination alight, and the folklore books (notably Brian Froud’s work) that I devoured in my childhood and teens set me firmly on the path of writing fantasy. Peter S Beagle’s The
Last Unicorn
was the book that made me want to write for children, because it is a standout example of a ‘children’s book’ that’s so thoroughly entertaining and whimsical, but written with great intelligence and so thematically rich that appreciation only deepens upon an adult read. It’s a shining example of what a children’s book can be.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I want to say something beautiful like ‘petrichor’, ‘aurora’, ‘mellifluous’… but it’s probably the humble ‘fart’ – guaranteed to get a giggle out of me.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Would have to be The Last Unicorn – it’s truly the book I wish I wrote.

Samantha-Ellen Bound is a writer, children’s author, and podcast host. She has many years’ experience working with books and publishing and hosts KidLit Classics, a podcast that celebrates classic children’s literature. Her books – including her latest, the Wherewithal series – are inspired by folklore, fairytales, mythology and gothic horror. For more information, see www.samanthaellenbound.com.

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